The Care for the Future and Connected Communities themes are co-hosting a symposium in May on ‘Utopias, Futures and Temporalities: critical considerations for social change’. Deadline for proposals is 14th February 2015 to K.Dunleavy@bristol.ac.uk.
Utopias, Futures and Temporalities: Critical considerations for social change
An Interdisciplinary Symposium 19 & 20 May, 2015, Bristol Zoo, Bristol
Keynotes: Professor Ruth Levitas (University of Bristol) and Professor Kevin Birth (CUNY)
Call for Papers: Deadline Feb 14, 2015
2016 is the 500 year anniversary of the first publication of Thomas More’s Utopia. Such a moment encourages reflection on the uses and misuses of utopias and dystopias in social change as well as critical reflection on the contribution of ideas of the future and of temporality to the processes of social transformation.
The ideals of citizenship encourage us all to desire a stake in the future – whether trying to shape our own lives, those of our families, the places we live, or wider society – and to imagine a better or different world. But what is this entity that we name ‘future’? Senses of time vary across and within human societies, and disciplines from philosophy to natural science present equally differing conceptions of it. By invoking ‘utopias/dystopias’ we wish to explore the questions of positionality, power, hope and despair that are at play in the imagination of new times and the way that these effect change in the present. By pluralising ‘futures’, we want to explore the diversity of ways in which anticipatory practices can be performed by people and communities. And by invoking ‘temporalities’, we want to reflect on how the qualities of time – endurance, succession, speed, rhythm, for example – interact with imaginings and perceptions of what is to come. Perhaps, by better understanding the temporal qualities of society, culture and environments, we could create social change at a scale and pace that connects communities with their futures, rather than disenfranchises them. Perhaps again, by invoking utopias and dystopias, we may recognise that questions of future possibility are not simply technical, but involve politics, fear, despair, hope, imagination, dreams, desires and aspirations, all of which may act as stimulus or disincentives for social change
For further information, please see the call document: First CFP Utopias Temporalities Social Change Symposium