This just in from Dr. Nabil al-Tasnimi:
My wife Reiko and I we're talking about it, and we really think you ought to move in the direction of utopian studies. Think about it, it’s a burgeoning new field, everyone around you’s involved in it— N-sensei’s recent book deals with utopian/dystopian discourses in modern Russian literature; recent graduate D. Gabrakova has written extensively on the subject; and Professor Y's recent work is concerned with “the process by which a physical reality emerges from abstract ideas,” as she explains in this paper about how the utopian visions of the Taishō period informed Mushanokōji’s commune, Atarashiki mura.
There’s also a Society for Utopian Studies with its own Utopian Studies Journal and annual meeting, as well as this Tokyo University journal called Utopia: Here and There.
And, most importantly, Ishikawa Jun grappled throughout his career with the problem of utopia, of how utopian abstractions, often originating in art, are pushed into the intellectual and political spheres where they harden into ideologies that, more often than not, turn dystopian. (Think, for example, of the Kyoto School of Nishida, Tanabe, Miki, Abe, etc.)
As Susan Napier puts it, Ishikawa repeatedly and “explicitly undermines the promise of a better world.” His novella Taka (1953), you’ll remember, deals with the post-war clash between utopian leftists and the dystopian conservatives who seized control after the U.S. decided on a gyaku-kosu (“reverse course”) in order to curb communist influence. Shion monogatari (1956) assumes the form of a pastoral utopia, while its subject is dark and sinister. Omae no teki wa omae da (1961) is a play that explores the broken dreams of utopian builders. The only exception I can think of is his Tora no kuni (1961), in which, I’m told, an Arcadia-like tōgenkyō is actually achieved.
At any rate, give some thought to what I’ve said. And remember, in most cases it’s your dissertation topic which chooses you, and not the other way around.