CfP: Common Futures, Futures of the commons

Filip Vostal


What is the collective capacity to shape futures and commons through writing and art? What are the thresholds of our individual and collective political imagination? This volume aims tackle these questions by addressing unconventional and conductive modes of imagination that would not restore some old idea about social(ist) democracy, but would rather craft, advance, and recuperated existing and new progressivist discourses. At the same, the volume avoids debates about accelerationism and grand theorizing, but rather focuses on modest practices, techniques, technologies, trajectories, experiments and tendencies attending to publishing, artistry and mobilizing forms of imagination.

Can the idea of commons – in the age of algorithmic and digital capitalism – be “rejuvenated” and acquitted from both old leftist staleness and contemporary ideas around accelerationism or speculative realism? Is there a sober theoretical middle-ground? What would be the future commons if universities are expected to generated profitable knowledge and self-entrepreneurial docile consumers? This not to say that contemporary academy lacks “spaces of hope” in natural, technical, social scientific knowledge production and humanist, reflexive pedagogy. However, there is no dispute about the general tendency of turning the academy into a branch of the capitalist economy. Also, isn’t our overall (public and academic) obsession with the future/futures rendering certain socio-technical, cultural and political phenomena and processes happening now “imperceptible” as Tim Ingold notes? Should’t we be more attentive to what escapes us in the present moment, using available philosophies, literatures and art as witnesses of the absent in our thinking, as Jean-Luc Nancy suggests?

Target publisher: punctum books

The following people provisionally indicated that they will/might contribute to the book:

Douglas S. Dix (independent scholar, Prague), Dafne Calvo (University of Valladolid), Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner (CWTS, University of Leiden), Daniel H. Cabrera (University of Zaragoza), Zach Kaiser (Michigan State University), Mariana Gaitan Rojas (University of Oxford), Jessica Poon (University of Glasgow), Rosa Vasilaki (Panteion University, Athens), Jiri Skala (Academy of Fine Arts, Prague), Tomas Dvorak (Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts, Prague), Janja Komljenovic (Lancaster University) & Sam Sellar (Manchester Metropolitan University), Helge Jordheim (University of Oslo), Kean Birch (York University, Toronto) Mark Anthony Pearce (independent scholar, Bristol), Leslie Chan (University of Toronto)

Gary Hall (University of Coventry) suggested he may write an afterword.

Get in touch with me (filip@filipvostal.net) if you are interested as I will be the sole editor. We are looking for original interventions and contributions combining text and visuals that would tackle problematics indicated in the abstract. Get experimental! Contributions from ALL disciplines are welcome – of course if they relate to the overal objective of the book expressed in the abstract.

Please stick to reasonable amount of words/pages – actually the text does NOT have to be long at all. Quite the contrary, I am not really looking for “standard” book chapters, but more of sharp provocations of shorter length. Original DL was end of DEC 2020, but given the circumstances, we have decided to move it to end of JULY 2021. I might however ask those of you who are interested in contributing to send me abstract byt end of Feb 2021.

If we go with punctum, I will then edit contributions, get back to you (together with my framing introduction) and after first round of revision I will send the entire text to punctum books (they only assess full/finalised manuscripts). If we are lucky and the manuscript will be accepted, I expected second round or revisions thereafter.


Photo by Marla Prusik on Unsplash

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