CFP: Moments of Futurity: From Present Conditions to Material(izing) Horizons (1/15/07; 3/29/07-3/31/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Wesley Beal
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Moments of Futurity: From Present Conditions to Material(izing)
The Ninth Annual Conference of the Marxist Reading Group
Keynote Speaker Fredric Jameson
March 29-31 at the University of Florida

Underwritten as it is by narratives of progress, rhetorics of
novelty, and the logic of speculation, capitalism asserts a
monopoly on futurity, both as a semantic category and a material
horizon. While globalization ideologues insist that history has
ended and trumpet the present as the future (or, as Thomas
Friedman and Merrill Lynch put it in 1999, "The World is Ten Years
Old"), Marxism proposes a radically different narrative. The Ninth
Annual Conference of the Marxist Reading Group investigates the
future from a Marxist perspective and challenges Marxist scholars
and activists to reclaim the category of futurity.

Marxist theory and criticism are saturated by a rhetoric of the
historical: historical materialism, history as class conflict, the
imperative to historicize. But what is the history of the future
in Marxism? That is, how is the category of the future configured
in various Marxisms? In what ways could an engagement with
futurity, as a semantic, temporal, and material category, lead
beyond the notorious theory/practice impasse? How do we look
beyond the material conditions of the present to find material
horizons? Answers to such questions can be located in a host of
fields spanning the humanities and the social sciences, and they
can be informed by a variety of theoretical dimensions: Can one
historicize the future? Can dialectics reveal horizons? Can
totalized mappings of the present also grasp at the future? Do
utopian projects lead the way? Ultimately, this conference seeks
papers that think the future via Marxist theory.

Fredric Jameson will provide the keynote address for this
conference. The William A. Lane Professor of Comparative
Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University, Jameson has
been among the leading voices of Marxist theory for the past
decades, and his contributions to literary and cultural theory
have impacted the fields of literature and theory indelibly. He is
the author of Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late
Capitalism, The Political Unconscious, and recently Archaeologies
of the Future.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:

Historicizing futurity
Representations of futurity
The future and the literary
Rhetorics of futurity
Science Fiction
The future of capitalism
The future of activism
The revolutionary class
Marxism and New Media
The "end of history"
Future(s) Markets
The future as nostalgia
Nostalgia for the future
Resisting futurity

Abstracts of 250 words must be submitted by January 15, 2007 to
the conference website,

Authors of accepted papers will be notified by February 5, 2007.
Questions about the conference may be directed to

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Received on Sat Dec 09 2006 - 17:46:32 EST