Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Research theme 2016-17: Planetary Futures

IAS Junior Research Fellows Dr Aline-Florence Manent and Dr David Jeevendrampillai are researching this theme.

planetary futures

This theme is open to the widest possible interpretation and is assumed to address the concerns of many disciplines and departments while providing a frame for thinking across or even bypassing entrenched or established modes of thinking. It could include the following concerns:

  • The planetary, the international, the cosmopolitan and the global, competing definitions and differences in the imagining of futures
  • Debates on the anthropocene as a species-focused and earth-bound framework for thinking
  • Questions of difference and the particular in relation to the planetary scope of anthropocentric discourse, the post-colonial, feminist and queer potential for thinking the 'planetary' against the grain of universalising narratives
  • The implications of the decentring of terrestrial privilege assumed natural in human understanding
  • Questioning extra-terrestrial dwelling and post-planetary worlding to see if it opens up a space for the renegotiation of classic earth-bound divisions
  • Issues of national sovereignty and territoriality, polarities and divisions, borders and boundaries in imaging/imagining novel worlds
  • Technologies of the future as invented now and in the past: forms of measuring, mapping, representing and coding images/texts that encompass a vision of the future
  • Narrative, fiction and fantasy in the adumbration of planetary futures
  • Cosmologies and cosmic construction - the fabrication/fabulation of alternative world structures through art, literature and imaginative projection
  • The history of futurity, the history of notions of the future, including but not only a history of science fiction
  • The production of image worlds; technologies of vision; the militarisation of space; climate change and representation
  • The earth without us, the post-human, fear of the future, catastrophic futures, imagination, prophecy, narratives of individual and/or collective survival, apocalypse