Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster

Global Futures: Uncertainty, Displacement, Security

Engaging the increasing worries about our futurity, this research cluster will focus on the interactions between the following categories: Uncertainty regarding what the future holds, Risk as the basis of managing futures, Displacement as a condition fundamentally connected to uncertainty, Security as the antidote to uncertain futures, as protection against coming harm, and Speculation as a mode of engaging uncertainty, of filling in the gaps. While speculation is generally associated with the predatory capture and monetization of futures, it is also possible to speculate otherwise, in ways that proliferate potentialities rather than closing off futures. Whereas much of risk discourse locks us into specific pathways, and approaches to security espouse exclusionary, combative, or carceral techniques, more playful, open-ended speculative approaches inspire imaginative insights about virtual states and generate as-yet-unthought possibilities. Instead of surveilling, disciplining, and controlling, such an affirmative speculative mode liberates the future from the tyranny of the past and the present.

Summary of Research Resources