What subjectivities exist within, against and beyond our present? Is ‘the human’ still a viable subject for an emancipatory politics? And if not, what does this mean for utopianism? Is it even possible to think utopia apart from the human? How might we distinguish between technological futurisms that (re-)centre the human and those that de-centre it?
The fifth Imaginaries of the Future: Historicizing the Present symposium explored the relationship between utopia(nism) and subjectivity. It sought to challenge dominant narratives regarding the ‘turn’ away from the human. Particular racialized, gendered and disabled subjects have long been excluded from the category of ‘the human’, whilst many Indigenous cosmologies reject understandings of ‘the human’ that underpin Western thought. Many such subjects have also been excluded from and by various utopianisms, even as they develop forms of knowledge and praxis that might be thought of as utopian.
The programme can be found here [.pdf].
Pictures (in random order): ‘Posthuman Structure III’ by Abominable (link); ‘Hello Girls’ in a manual call centre (link); cover of Accessing the Future: A Disability-Themed Anthology of Speculative Fiction (link); extract from ‘Sock it 2 Me’ video by Missy Elliott (link); ‘Cyborg’ by Lynn Randolph (link); ‘Facial Weaponization Communiqué: Fag Face’ by Zach Blas (link); Physarum polycephalum slime mold (link); ‘We Have Come Back for Our Bodies’ by Louis Esmé (link); ‘Flower Series: End Humanity, Utopia Now’ by Jake Kent (link).