CfP: Forming the Future, 2–3 Sept 2019, University of Plymouth

Forming the Future, 2–3 Sept 2019, University of Plymouth

Confirmed speakers: Amy J. Elias (Tennessee, Knoxville); Daniel Innerarity (Ikerbasque); Sandra Kemp (Lancaster/Imperial)

Thinking about the future often focuses on its ‘content’: what might happen. Similarly, thinking about ‘future studies’ often concentrates on its goals, concepts and methods. But what about the forms in which the future comes couched? How does the medium in which the future is presented – its genres, structures, conventions – shape or influence what the future might include? What forms do representations of the future currently take in different disciplines and fields of practice – from fiction to non-fiction, the visual to the textual, science to politics – and to what effect? Can we make our representations of the future more efficacious, with a view to the current world situation? And what might different fields learn from each other, or how might they combine, in order to do this?

This interdisciplinary conference sets out to investigate these and related questions, and to trigger dialogue within and across different areas in which the future is being ‘formed’. 

Starting points may include, but are not restricted to:

·      forms old and new (e.g. fiction, report, manifesto, visual media, software …)

·      fact/fiction, realistic/unrealistic, mind/heart …

·      a future without apocalypse? continuity/break?

·      updating key terms (e.g. hope, optimism, pessimism, utopia, horizons …) 

·      instrumentality/openness, prognostication/becoming, fixed/alterable

·      the problems of scale (e.g. individual/collective, local/global, multiplicity/unity …)

·      interdisciplinary practice, thinking, potential

·      history <> future

Please send proposals for 20 minute papers or presentations to david.sergeant@plymouth.ac.uk Proposals will be welcomed from researchers across the humanities, social sciences and STEM disciplines, as well as from those working outside the university sector.

Deadline for proposals: 1 May 2019.

Two £150 bursaries are available for those without institutional funding or equivalent; please describe in your proposal how you qualify. The full call for papers, along with further information, is available on the conference webpage: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/forming-the-future