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Global Futures: Theory, Practice, and Possibility

This course seeks to address and open up the question of “the future” through a series of political, theoretical, and cultural excursions. Starting from the hypothesis that many of us today experience the present as extremely cynical and politically unpromising and closed, we will examine conceptual, ethical, and affective openings to the problem of futurity and political possibility – openings that might help us to understand and address this present in different ways. To this effect, the materials assigned for this course can be of a cultural and speculative nature. Overall, the course invites experiments in thinking, rather than following down well-trodden paths. To trim, so to speak, a very complex subject and matter, in this course we will be largely focusing on two highly relevant registers: the current rise in political and populist authoritarianism and climate change. We will also be discussing questions of the new materialism, decolonization, and the future of the research imagination.


Unit(s): 3.0 Level(s): Graduate Term(s): Fall Offered?: Yes Language?: No

Petra Rethmann

Professor | Director/Graduate Advisor of IGHC