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Visions of transformation in the Anthropocene: technology, political-moral imagination, and the cascading socio-environmental crises of the twenty-first century 
Thomas E. Bell (University of Kent)
Ly Lõhmus (University of Kent)
Miguel Alexiades (University of Kent)
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Thursday 9 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

We critically examine modes of envisioning the future in response to the Anthropocene's human-environmental crises. How do technology, justice, responsibility, epistemology, and political agency intersect in visions of transformation? How do such visions problematize the category of the human?

Long Abstract:

The Anthropocene heralds a perilous epoch of intersecting human-environmental crises. It is also an epoch in which political actors, in a wide variety of contexts, are demanding systemic transformation of societies according to shared moral visions of potential futures. As such, the unravelling crises of the Anthropocene are reshaped as opportunities to morally imagine and to politically construct better worlds, in the present and into the future.

Such visions are often laden with mixtures of uncertainty, contradiction, and incommensurability as situated actors grapple with the difficulty of (re)imagining future worlds in an epoch that throws into question the structural arrangements, ontological conditions, and epistemologies foundational to modernity. This becomes particularly apparent in political attempts to (re-)configure the relationship between knowledge, technology, capital, power, and justice.

We invite contributions that critically examine, and lay grounds to compare, different modes of envisioning how the future should and could be in response to the cascading human-environmental crises of the 21st century. Indicative questions include:

- How do technology (including energy-, cyber-, nano, and bio-technologies), justice, responsibility, epistemology, and political agency intersect in demands for systemic transformation?

- How do visions of transformation problematize categories and binaries constitutive of modernity, such as nature/culture, life/non-life, human/non-human, and technology/biology?

- What kinds of political subjectivity and organization underpin, and are generated by, attempts to actualize potential futures?

- How does future-envisioning intersect with problems of race, class, and identity politics, governance and citizenship, and colonialism?

Papers are welcomed from all regional specialisms and disciplines.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 9 June, 2022, -