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Module

HIS3328 : Imagined Futures

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Luc Racaut
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module explores the history of the future, the time when in Europe, people began looking forward to the future, rather than back to a bygone golden age. This implies a shift from a circular conception of time to a linear one. Looking forward to the future, the idea of progress is currently in crisis not least due to pessimistic diagnosis of global warming. It is useful to think about the history of the future, its intellectual genesis in the Early Modern period (16th to 18th century) and what the future has meant for European cultures in the 19th and 20th century in order to understand current cultural developments. The module will explore scientific optimism as well as the emergence of utopias and dystopias as models for the development of modern society.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following is a guide only. Actual subjects may differ from those listed.

1a Introduction: The History of the Future                  
1b Inventing the Future
                       
2a Prophecy: prehistory of the future                        
2b Latent futures: legacies of the Scientific Revolution      

3a 18th century: the rise of progress                        
3b Early representations of the future

4a 19th century: The socialist utopia Marx / Lafarge            
4b Technological enthusiasms                  

5a 19th century utopian elements      
5b The ‘Look’ of the new: early 20th century design

6a The European avant-garde
6b Science fiction as a predictive genre

7a 1930s politics and visions of the future                  
7b The Second World War and technological progressivism      

8a 1950s: Extrapolating rapid change                        
8b 1960s utopian architecture            

9a 1960s: The age of rockets                              
9b Social experiments revisited

10a 1970s: No Future                        
10b Industrial dystopias

11a The rise of dystopias                                    
11b Post-modern Utopias                                    

12a Review: What future for the future?                        
12b Review: Analytical themes

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable