2021-2022 IRW Seminar
Icecaps are melting. Seas are rising. A pandemic rages. Racism is endemic. Fires burn. Poverty flourishes. Authoritarians rule. At a time of widespread skepticism toward science, and when leaders sow distrust in facts and truth, it is more difficult than ever to think of the future in affirmative ways. For intellectuals on the right and the left, the future can conjure visions of the end of history, or the sense that there is “no future.” In the face of these challenges, can we imagine alternatives?
Artists, writers, and theorists continue to imagine different worlds, as do progressive social movement activists. Participants in the worldwide citizens’ movement for social change and global justice proclaim, “Another World Is Possible.” Feminists and queer people have often been at the forefront of these dissident struggles, imagining alternative pathways to the future. Futures and futurity have often been understood in relation to linear notions of time, and understandings of progress. But queer theorists challenge normative teleology and as theorist José Esteban Muñoz put it, “The future is queerness’s domain.” Perhaps we need new conceptualizations of time and space that imagine futures in alternative ways. Visual theorist Tina Campt suggests that we “imagine beyond current fact to envision that which is not but must be.”
2021-22 Seminar Fellows
2021-22 Seminar Schedule