Call for Papers:

The Return of Futurisms

Futurisms are undoubtedly modern constructs – focused around concepts such as “development”, “progress,” or “forecast.” Is it possible and appropriate to talk about their return in times of modernity crisis – even if said modernity is “late” or “liquid”? And is this crisis universal or global, and does it really imply the inability to think (about) the future? Maybe there still are cultural places and spaces, touched by “slightly flawed modernity” (as V.S. Naipaul calls it in his “Middle Passage”) imagining the future in their own way? After all, as the Trinidadian writer noted: “Along with growing up, people constantly invent new patterns, and these were usually patterns of modernity.” We will follow the ways of reinventing modernity and constructing the future by the postcolonial societies in the former dependent territories. We will tackle technological revolutions and their effects in science, art, and practices of everyday life and the methodological turn in the studies on the shape of things to come. The postcolonial world’s grand narratives concerning the future and vernacular stories of “how certain schemes to improve the human condition have failed” (as James C. Scott notices in his “Seeing like a State”). We are interested in speculative fiction, African, Asian and Caribbean futurism, indigenous technologies, postcolonial art, the Anthropocene as colonial discourse, futuristic architecture, and urbanism in the Global South countries. Let us try to imagine a non-modern future, or a future not modern in a western way. A postcolonial or post-communist future, a future in worlds possible only beyond the mainstream of thinking (about the future). Do these futurisms come back as Freudian “repressed” – unique and frightening, or perhaps they return on the wave of nostalgia for the future that has already happened – in a world where it was possible to think about it after all?

We would like to focus our research on the postcolonial theories and cultural studies such as the Black Atlantic legacy and Paul Gilroy’s analysis of modernity and double consciousness, Kodwo Eshun’s „considerations on afrofuturism”, Bruno Latour’s critique of modernity, Zygmunt Bauman’s concept of retrotopia, as well as on the ideas of disjunctive global cultural flows (Arjun Appadurai), Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene (A. Lowenhaupt Tsing), or Chthulucene (D. Haraway) to shed light on the history of the postcolonial futurism and utopian imagination or the possible return of the futurism in the first decades of the 21st century in the cultures of Global South.Proposed thematic areas:

– Postcolonial futurisms: Afrofuturism, indigenous futurism
– Futurism in the arts of the Global South
– Futurism and postcolonial and post-dependent studies
– Futurism and architecture and urbanism
– Futurism and traditional religions
– Musical returns of futurism
– Futurism and modern problems of race and gender
– Futuristic returns to the past – futurism and historical narratives
– Futuristic narratives in audiovisual arts and media
– Futurism versus narratives and speculative projects
– Indigenous technologies
– The anthropocene as colonial discourse
– Critical reflections on futurism

Elżbieta Binczycka-Gacek
Dariusz Brzostek

We are waiting for the texts until May 7, 2021 at the following address:

Deadline: May 7, 2021