The call for papers is now closed


11-12 September 2014

 Goldsmiths, University of London 

CALL FOR PAPERS (now closed)

How is the future imagined, planned for and manifested as the site of social and political struggle?

Is the idea of progress towards a better future challenged as a result of financial, environmental, political and health crises?

How do the social sciences, arts and humanities study the future – theoretically and methodologically – and how might they develop modes of analysis to invent different futures?

This conference will explore the contours of ‘the future’ in our current context of multiple financial, ecological and political crises. We are interested in drawing out intersections between the variety of ways that the future is imagined, planned for and performed across the arts, humanities and social sciences.

For example, what impact is austerity or climate change having on visions of the future? In what ways is the principle of progress and the linear unfolding of time being re-thought across different theoretical projects and via methodologies that aim to deal with virtuality, liveness and immediacy?  Should we give up on the future, or (re-)invest in the not-yet? Is the future ‘in question’ in the same ways across different national or cultural contexts, or for different people?  How might time itself be involved in the workings of power and privilege?

We invite proposals for individual papers and panels, as well as other alternative presentation formats on themes including but not restricted to:

  • theories of time, futurity and the future
  • methodologies such as speculation, forecasting, modeling, design, or scenario-planning
  • affect and futurity, including anticipation, pre-emption, hope, optimism, anxiety
  • planning and futurity, including architecture and spatial planning
  • imaginations and materializations of the future, including expectations, promises, utopias, and popular cultural representations
  • politics and futurity, including security, risk, governance
  • critical temporalities, including  slow design, contemplative computing, anti-anxiety objects

We welcome proposals from a diverse range of fields including Sociology, Geography, STS, Cultural Studies, Media and Communications, Design, Anthropology, Literature, Politics, International Relations and Architecture.

Proposal formats:

Standard papers (20 minutes): 250 word (max) abstract, including title and 100 word (max) bio.

Panels (90 minutes): 1000 word (max) summary and abstracts of papers, including titles and 300 word (max) bios.

Other presentation formats: We welcome presentations in alternative formats, including workshops, films, posters, and roundtables.  Submit a 500 word (max) summary of your proposed presentation including title and 100 word (max) bio.  Please address any questions to the email address below.

Please send your proposals to Dr Rebecca Coleman:

Deadline for proposals: 28th March 2013

Confirmed keynotes:

Professor Lisa Adkins (Sociology, University of Newcastle Australia)

Professor Patricia Clough (Sociology, Queens College and the City University of New York).

Professor Mike Michael (Sociology, University of Sydney)

More details to be confirmed shortly.

The conference is part of the ESRC Austerity Futures Seminar Series, organised between Goldsmiths, Lancaster, York and Durham.