Futures in Question: Theories, Methodologies, Practices

Coleman, Rebecca and Tutton, Richard, eds. 2017. Futures in Question: Theories, Methodologies, Practices, Sociological Review, 65(3). 0038-0261 [Edited Journal]

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Abstract or Description

This special issue emerged out of a conference that we organized at Goldsmiths, London in September 2014, with the title ‘Futures in Question’. The conference itself was the final event in an ESRC Research Seminar Series on ‘Austerity Futures: Imagining and Materialising the Future in an “Age of Austerity”’ (2012-14). By involving a range of scholars from the social sciences, arts and humanities, our aim was for the seminar series and conference to explore the contours of ‘the future’ in the current context of multiple financial, ecological and political crises. Taking up a call from Nik Brown and Mike Michael (2003: 4) (both contributors to this volume), we aimed to ‘shift the analytical emphasis from looking into the future to looking at the future’, that is, to ‘engage with the future as an analytical object, and not simply a neutral temporal space into which objective expectations can be projected’.

The original articles in this special issue engage with this task, offering new conceptual framings for thinking about the future. These include: a recuperation of the idea of ‘wicked futures’ proposed by Ritte and Martin Webber (1973); an attention to how futures are understood and enacted on different scales; an account (including an etymology) of anticipation as an orientation to the future; an unpacking of the significance of financial speculation to futurity; a consideration of the sensory and intangible aspects of futurity; an examination of how relations to futurity are organised and experienced through different speeds and senses of urgency; and an analysis of the relationship between catastrophism, immunity and futurity.

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Edited Journal

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September 2017

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Date Deposited:

03 Aug 2016 10:43

Last Modified:

04 Jan 2018 11:46



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