Im)possible lives: on futures as process
Simone Toji (IPHAN)
Laura Petracchi (Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca)
Michele Wisdahl (University of St Andrews)
Science Site/Chemistry CG91
Start time:
7 July, 2016 at 9:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel explores the relationship among futures, hope, fantasy and the re-configuration of selves. In particular, the session will concentrate on future as process that involves a subject's everyday life.

Long abstract:

In lives lived in time, senses of past, present and future are at stake. This panel looks at the process of future making. Differently from considering future in a holistic approach (Mead 2005 and Textor 1995), this panel examines future as a dimension that tirelessly pervades the micro-level of a subject's everyday life.

What are the affects, desires, visions, fears, dreams and material resources that move people to change their lives? How do people work in and on their present (and their present pasts) to contest, shape and imagine their future(s)?

Hope and fantasy may emerge as inspiring clues (Jackson 2011) in the making of people´s futures. Hope as category (Crapanzano 2013) and method (Miyazaki 2004) for understanding future(s); fantasy as push for action and for the re-configuration of selves (Moore 1994).

However, in the making of life-in-the-world, what are the footprints and legacies that define a person´s past, present and future? Class, ethnicity, race, rank, religion and gender have been productive concepts to identify collective inheritances that offer frameworks to live a life. At the same time, these concepts may also place limits. How do people contest and/or re-affirm these concepts and categories in their everyday lives?

We invite papers that ethnographically examine the crossroads between past, present and future and the (im)possible transformations people undertake. We are particularly interested in future(s) as process(es) in education, healing and care, migration, conversions, voyages and/or narratives.