William Morris is perhaps best remembered for his wallpaper, tapestry, and print designs. Yet, he was not only an artist/craftsman, but also a poet, an early environmentalist, a passionate social reformer, and an educationalist who became a socialist of sorts at the age of 50. In an age of ever-increasing specialization Morris was struggling for a new understanding of wholeness in both the arts and cultural thinking and offered - to both his contemporary and present thinkers - ideas about how to live a meaningful life - as an artist, craftsman or worker. Many of his ideas about socialism as social practice (and not merely as abstract thinking) may seem, on the surface, illusory, especially for a lot of 21st-century advocates of neoliberal thinking. You are invited to share my critical passion for Morris as a practitioner of socialism
We will examine Morris`ideas of how to combat human alienation in modern industrial-capitalist society and trace his idiosyncratic relations to his Pre-Raphaelite friends. We will study some of his poetry, his lectures and essays, his Utopia News From Nowhere as well as his home/garden, furniture and graphic designs – and think together about a vital chapter of Victorian cultural and literary history.
Moodle: PW: wmsocialism