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Summer School begins

Jul 27, 2014

The Summer School “Politics of Near Futures: Possibilities, Prophecies, Prognoses” takes place from July 27 to 31. It will study transcultural ideas of human and non-human near futures. This year, the Summer School is organised by the Junior Research Group Leaders Dr. Daniel Münster, Dr. Katja Rakow, Dr. Sophie Roche, and Dr. Kerstin von Lingen.

During the five-day summer school, participants from all over the world will explore historical and contemporary ways of making sense of the future. In the 21st century, the understanding of the contemporary is increasingly informed by experiences of insecurity and inequality such as loss of species and ecosystems, financial crises, land grabbing, and other ecological and bodily consequences of capitalist expansion. The participants of the Summer School will examine how transcultural concepts of the end of times confront ideas of possible futures across the world and across different registers (science, religion, art, literature).

The programme is divided into four sessions. Session I deals with “Demographic Foresight: Populations and the Politics of Estimation”. Session II addresses the topic “Living in the Endtimes: Agency, Prophecy and Apocalypse”. The subject of Session III is “Possible Futures in the Anthropocene: Planetary Crisis and Spaces of Hope”. The last session features “Visions of Future and Futures Past”. A public keynote lecture will be given by Prof. Akhil Gupta from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on Monday, July 28, from 5 to 7 pm. The topic of the keynote lecture is “The Future in Ruins: Thoughts on the Temporality of Infrastructure”.

Further guest speakers of the Summer School include Dr. Jennie Chapman from the University of Hull, Dr. Kerstin Cuhls from Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) in Karlsruhe, Dr. Eben Kirksey from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Dr. Anthony Santoro from the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA).

The participants will not only attend lectures and discussions but also have different afternoon programmes, e.g. the excursion to the Heidelberg Bahnstadt.

The keynote lecture is organised in context of the Summer School “Politics of Near Futures: Possibilities, Prophecies, Prognoses”. The Summer School 2014 is coordinated by four Junior Research Group Leaders of the Cluster. Dr. Daniel Münster is group leader of research group C15 "Agrarian Alternatives". Dr. Katja Rakow leads research group B21 on "Transcultural Dynamics on Pentecostalism". Dr. Sophie Roche coordinates the research group C16 “Demographic Turn”. Dr. Kerstin von Lingen is responsible for research group A16 "Transcultural Justice".


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  • Picture from the private collection "Im Jahre 2000" of Prof. Michael Keller