Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Call for Papers

Figuring Futures

“Hay un único lugar donde ayer y hoy se encuentran y se reconocen y se abrazan. Ese lugar es mañana.” Eduardo Galeano, El libro de los abrazos (2010)

By Luis AvilésBy Luis Avilés

The sentiment expressed by Uruguayan author and journalist Eduardo Galeano in the quote above is mirrored in many of today’s conversations regarding the future of Latin America and the wellbeing of the world. It insists in conceiving the future as an intersection between past and present highlighting how different temporalities are intertwined rather than being separate segments of a linear time.  At the same time, thinking of the future as a “place” where past and present recognize and embrace each other, indicates the necessity to confront the constellation of causalities and correlations that arise from the past, continue through the present, and into the future. Thinking of these temporal intersections, continuities, and discontinuities provides a productive space for reflection from where to imagine and theorize possible futures. Much of current discussions and cultural production about the future seems to work with dystopian and apocalyptic imaginaries that speak of a past that is yet to happen; a dreadful past which might still be avoidable. On the other hand, we also find instances of radical inventiveness, activism, planning and development, and theoretical/conceptual work that envision a different future, even if it seems impossible given present uneven relationships of power and systems of exploitation.  The mere possibility of tracing continuities between past, present, and future in the Latin American context is explored and challenged by such projects.

For the first issue of Interversar, we invite article submissions that engage conceptualizations, experiences, and possibilities of futurity from a Latin American perspective. Proposing the “future” as a topic of inquiry and frame of reference seeks to encourage a transdisciplinary exploration of how the Latin America region is understanding and/or challenging present and past power dynamics in order to create, ensure and re-imagine future possibilities. What futures and speculative horizons emerge when thinking from the variety of perspectives present in Latin America? Examining Latin America’s position in conversations of futurity intends to re-think Latin America’s local, regional, hemispheric, and global positionality in a rapidly changing world. How will Latin America confront competing projects and manifestations of capitalism? What spaces of agency and imagination emerge in relation to future social, political, economic, environmental configurations? Approaching the future as a lens through which to examine contemporary times and the legacies of pervasive practices of violence and destruction, strives to depart from simplistic binaries, and linear and short-term timeframes. Instead, we advocate for new insights into the different and varied dimensions, limitations, and possibilities of thinking and imagining the future.

The aim of Interversar is to foster interdisciplinary and international conversation from and about Latin America. Submissions in English, Spanish, and Portuguese that seek to understand and/or challenge Latin American narratives of futurity are welcome. 


Possible themes for submissions include: 


●   Other Temporalities: non-linear experiences and/or understandings of time, time lags, temporal difference, chronopolitics, temporal breaks, incompleteness, loss of futuricity and issues of spatial and temporal scales  

●      Ecological imaginaries: the Anthropocene, climate change, extractivisms, extinctions, living in a damaged planet, and other environmental concerns. How are these concepts and issues intersecting? How is activism in Latin America in conversation with ecological issues and the notion of futuricity when thinking of the various parties involved in competing futures?  

●     Declining futures: fragmentation of infrastructures, social structures, and social institutions. How this deterioration shapes social and subjective imaginaries? How can we re-think sustainability in/for a damaged planet? What does this mean for the body and biopolitics?  How sustainability negotiates or is in conflict with declining futures?

●      Speculative futures: How can we approach the future beyond common binaries? utopia/dystopia, catastrophism/ radical hope, apocalypse/community projects. What is the role of technology in speculative futures when defining posthumanism, transhumanism, techno-optimism, or techno-dystopianism?

●      Historical continuity and hemispheric re/visions: latent colonialism, imperial duress, decoloniality, cosmopolitics and indigenous perspectives, industrialism, permanence and breaks in/of metanarratives.

●      Urbanization and new cartographies: globalization, disaster tourism, and cartographies of affect. Imagined and material spaces provide a visible projection of the future. How are spaces embedded with fantasies about the future? What affects arise from a shrinking world? How do these projections of the future alter, interfere, and shape the current state of spaces? 

Please send your submission by June 15th, 2019.