Law and Humanities Workshop: Futurity Now?
6-8 September 2022
Online via Zoom
Convened by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, University of Lucerne & the Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities, The Australian National University
It is not so long ago that Mark Fisher, in Ghosts of My Life (2013), pronounced the “slow cancellation of the future.” Riffing on a phrase of Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Fisher identifies a cultural inertia that resides in a collective inability to “grasp and articulate the present.” The ubiquity of capitalism – and of a capitalist realism that presumes there is no alternative to the neoliberal global order – has, Fisher argues, given rise to a condition in which “life continues, but time has stopped.” The “slow cancellation of the future” thus becomes, in Fisher’s hands, a critical expression of this insidious creep that gradually but relentlessly corrodes the social imagination – and with it, the radical potential of the future. As Wendy Brown describes it, this loss of futurity and of forward momentum “makes the weight of the present very heavy: all mass, no velocity.” Or “in the terms of late modern speediness … all speed, no direction.”
Is, then, the future over? Not quite. Indeed, there is no greater critical concern in the contemporary moment than the future, and recent years have seen a marked resurgence of thinking about futurity. Fired by the urgency of our current condition, writers, theorists, artists and activists have turned anew to consider the possibilities of the future, both as a subject of theorization and as an orientation for practice in the world.
Against this background, the law and humanities workshop proposes a multi- and interdisciplinary discussion around the topic of “Futurity Now?” A joint venture of a global network of partner institutions, the workshop will offer a creative and stimulating space for exploring critical and theoretical perspectives on the future “as time, as event, as condition, as an orientation to the oncoming” (Saint-Amour).
The workshop programme will comprise the following three sessions (all online):
- Tuesday 6 September, 15.00 (CEST): Can Law Control the Future? (or it is just a Part of the Past?) (hosted by the Faculty of Law, University of Roma Tre)
- Wednesday 7 September, 10.00 (CEST) / 18.00 (AEDT): Colonial Legal Imaginaries / Southern Literary Futures (hosted by the Centre for Law, Arts and the Humanities, ANU & the University of Adelaide)
- Thursday 8 September, 10.00 (CEST): Organizing the Future (Or: How to Demand a Million More Years?) (hosted by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies – lucernaiuris, University of Lucerne)
Please follow the links for workshop descriptions and registration details.
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