Hewitt, "Utopianism and Joanna Baillie: A Preface to Converging Revolutions"

Hewitt surveys the scholarly revolution by which "utopia" has been transformed from structural model to strategic process. She posits connections between the new utopian processes and characteristics of Baillie's work, including her resistance to gender stereotypes, her preoccupation with justice, her attention to control of the passions as a precondition for social change, and her use of drama as a thought experiment in which spectators might visit an alternative world and take away knowledge to apply in the "real" one. Hewitt comments on how the papers that follow in this volume, both those that use an explicitly utopian vocabulary and those that do not, further a conceptualization of Baillie in the exploratory terms of the new utopianism.