Future Sensibilities: Mediations of Precarious Life

Future Sensibilities: Mediations of Precarious Life

Paris, France, 27.-28. June 2017

15th NECS Graduate Workshop. Hosted by the Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7, 27 and 28 June 2017.




15th NECS Graduate Workshop

Future Sensibilities: Mediations of Precarious Life 

27 and 28 June 2017

Hosted by the Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7

How do film and media practices sense and make sense of the future when it presents life as increasingly precarious? From the passage into the Anthropocene, the exhaustion of natural resources and the technologization of labor, widespread right-wing populism, to crises of refugee movement and expansive relations of inequality, contemporary futures present themselves as risks for life. Recent theorizations of precarious life (Butler, 2009, 2015; Lorey, 2015; Agamben, 2016) maintain that the future can no longer assumed to be a stable temporality or even a tangible potentiality. What futures can still be imagined?

A concern for shared futures must rather be sensed, described, politicized, and continuously reinvented. The destabilizing historical present urges us to reconsider how film and media cultures have historically, and continue to, make sense of coming futures and sense possible alternatives. What can be found in the aesthetics, techniques, operations, and modes of thinking and speculation that sense, create, and invent new futures?
Asking if, and how, the future is still sensible, this workshop aims to examine the aesthetic, social, ecological and political dimensions of historical and contemporary film, visual and media cultures and their methodologies. We invite graduates and post-graduates to examine emergent mediations of precarious life and the possibility of future sensibilities. 

We welcome papers addressing the broad theme of the topic and consider, but are not limited to, the following areas of research in relation to film and media:

  • Notions of precarity and the future in film and media history
  • Contemporary global activism—media and political protest
  • The “distribution of the sensible” (Rancière) and theories of sensible ethics and politics
  • Futurity vs. anti-futurism—utopian and dystopia, the politics of fatalism, science fiction
  • Affect studies—ways of sensing, inventing, embodying, and grieving the future
  • Political futures of media archaeology—media obsolescence, old vs. new media
  • Geologies of media, media ecology, environmental futures, engineering and the arts
  • Anti-racist and decolonial futures—colonial legacies, the Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter, Afrofuturism
  • Refugee movement and futures of citizenship and exile
  • Populist politics and right-wing nationalisms and conservatism
  • Feminist, queer, and trans futures
  • Economic futures—neoliberalism, globalization, post-socialism, gentrification
  • “Extrastatecraft” and infrastructural space vs. counter-publics and the undercommons

Please address abstracts (max. 200 words) along with institutional affiliation and a short bio (max. 150 words) to: graduates@necs.org

Deadline for submission: 31.01.2017  Notification will follow shortly thereafter. The workshop language is English.

Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7 will not provide refunds: participants will cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Workshop attendance is free, but valid NECS membership is required to participate, see: http://necs.org/user/register.

Organizers: Jeanne Ferrier (Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7), Carlos Kong (The Courtauld Institute of Art, London), Halbe Kuipers (University of Amsterdam), Natacha Milovzorova (Université Paris 3), Sarah Ohana (Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7).

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