In this special issue of Alluvium, the Contemporary Theoretical Network (Ctrl Network) invites submissions on the topic of futurity in crisis.
Living through a seemingly unceasing barrage of global crises in the present, it is relatively easy to read a world in decline. Anxiety about the future is nothing new, but the question of our ability to endure and respond to a plethora of increasingly complex and interconnected crises has changed our relationship to the future and how we imagine our place within it. This perspective is no more localised than it is global; from the stark reality of climate breakdown to the stagnation of recession, crisis (and the upheaval and uncertainty which accompany it) increasingly touches the daily lives of many, throwing the notion of futurity itself into flux. Read alongside the idea of ‘the slow cancellation of the future’, as captured by Franco Berardi and explored by Mark Fisher, the proliferation and immediacy of impending crises in the present compounds a sense that while living in a state of crisis has become the norm, the future has quietly been stolen from us. Yet, for some, crisis presents opportunity. To see crisis grants the possibility of decision, which in turn allows for autonomous change. Against the backdrop of its impossibility then, futurity is not merely foreclosed, it presents itself as a possibility.
The theme of this CfP is open to broad interdisciplinary interpretation around the notion of futurity in crisis. Ctrl Network are keen to receive articles on both the future in crisis, and the necessity of crisis for futurity. Founded in response to the crisis and feelings of temporal stagnation common to the first pandemic lockdown, the Network is equally eager to promote theorisation on the conditions of the present, as well as ideas that, against such a banal-but-bleak backdrop, promote a sense of change.
Authors are invited to ask questions such as: Who owns the future? Who or what has a place within it? How and why have collective and cultural visions and representations of the future changed? What role has crisis played in shaping our visions and narratives of the future? How, if at all, can a future be designed?
Topics to explore may include (but are not limited to):
- Representations of Futurity in Crisis Fiction
- Black Futures in Crisis
- Climate Catastrophe
- Postcapitalist Futures
- Responses to the Global Pandemic
- Technology and Crisis
- Hauntology and Lost Futures
- Economic Stagflation and the Future of Employment
- Dystopian Fiction
- Existential Risk
If you are interested in contributing to this special issue, please send abstracts (max. 300 words) outlining your proposed article, and a separate brief bio with your research interests (max. 150 words), to issue editors Ctrl Network (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 8th of March 2021.
The deadline for the submission of articles of 2,000-2,500 words will be the 5th of April 2021. Authors of articles that are accepted for the issue will be invited to take part in a Ctrl Network special launch event, where they will be encouraged to present their work at an informal online roundtable.
See you on the Net,
Ctrl Network x Alluvium