Judy Thorne

Judy Thorne


Personal profile


I am a social anthropologist studying historically-situated utopian desire.

I look at how particular places at particular times feel to those living through them, by asking people what they want the world to be like in the future.

My PhD thesis (2022) was entitled ‘What do you want the world to be like in the future?’ Utopian ethnography in the crisis-ordinary of late 2010s Pátra, Greece. It looked specifically at the felt reverberations of the post-2008 crisis, long since become ordinary, among a variety of different social groups prefiguring, in different ways, futures they identified as desirable.

My Masters thesis (2015) was entitled The anthropology of utopia in the factory of souls: Daydreaming in the UK Jobcentre. It discussed jobseeking under the 2010s neoliberal workfare regime in the UK as a form of affective labour, the product of which was a disposition of docile despair. It also explored how the utopian desires which some jobseekers expressed to me suggested the instability of this disposition.

My research interests also include care; gender; kinship; creative ethnographic methods; political activism; crises economic, ecological and emotional.


  • utopianism
  • futures
  • prefiguration
  • desire
  • crisis
  • ethnography
  • Greece


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