Utopian bodies and media, October 20-22 Delta Hotel, Montreal

full name / name of organization: 
Leverhulme International Research Network "Imaginaries of the Future"
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Call for Proposals (Deadline 1 September 2014)
Utopian Bodies and Media
Montreal, QC, Canada 21 – 22 October 2014
Inaugural symposium of the Leverhulme International Research Network
Imaginaries of the Future: Historicising the Present

Proposals are invited for the first symposium of the interdisciplinary Leverhulme-funded Network Imaginaries of the Future: Historicising the Present. This symposium will provide a platform for intensive discussion of contributors' work at the intersection of media and the human body in the excavation of imaginaries of the future. Proposals are invited that interrogate medialities as potentially offering modes for re-thinking the future through recollections of the past and the presentation of abandoned alternatives.

Starting from the premise that the human body (however genetically enhanced or cybernetically augmented) will remain the focus of future imaginaries, we aim to interrogate the shortcomings of present proposals for future subjectivities and societies, whether scholarly, artistic or technological, and to open up possibilities for inventing new ones. Topics of discussion may include both the dystopian dimensions of new media and technologies, as well as their liberatory potential to educate our desire for progress, slow the intensification of unchecked growth, and position subjects as citizens rather than consumers.

Proposals for both critical and creative interventions from across the arts and humanities are welcomed; we are particularly interested in digital humanities approaches, and proposals that explore new medialities for utopian scholarship. Applicants can find further information about the Network's aims, intentions and expected outputs on our website: www.imaginariesofthefuture.wordpress.com. Please send abstracts of 250 words to adam.stock@ncl.ac.uk by 17.00 on 1 September, EST (22.00 British Summer Time).

Five travel bursaries, two of up to £1000, and three of up to £350, will be awarded through open competition to individuals who promise to make a significant contribution to the work of the Network. The larger bursaries are intended for applicants traveling a significant distance to attend the symposium. We welcome submissions from all career stages, including PhD researchers.

All bursary applications should include the following (which will be assessed in making the awards):

1. Evidence of scholarly knowledge and activity in a relevant area, demonstrated by a 2pp. CV and statement of 250-500 words about any aspect of the applicant's research and/or practice.

2. An outline of up to 250 words for a workshop session of approximately 1 hour in length. Workshops should be interactive and inclusive, and not merely based on the presentation of a scholarly paper. Creative approaches are encouraged, so long as scholarly rigour is central to the aims. Relevant images/apps/reading material/sound files etc. may be appended to the application if required, or for files over 5mb, a link to a cloud-based file sharing service such as Dropbox or Googledrive. Please be sure to specify whether your workshop requires any special preparation, technologies, materials, or spaces.

For more information, visit www.imaginariesofthefuture.wordpress.com