The Craft of Writing
R1A - 005 | CCN: 77815
Rhetorics of Futurity: Technologies of Gender, Race, and Sexuality
Instructor: Kellie Montalvo and Michelle Velasquez-Potts
Date / Time: TuTh 5-630P, 223 DWINELLE
This class will examine the usefulness and limits of futurity as a critical concept. To that end, we will utilize the future as a topos or lens to investigate and put into question the present and conditions of the present, notions of linear time and causality, and our understanding of history and historical struggle. Some of the questions we will consider include: what is the future? An imaginary place? A moment in time? A semantic placeholder for our dreams or desires? What work does the future do in relation to present political struggles related to gender, race, class, and sexuality? Does invoking the future necessarily fall into naive utopianism? An apocalyptic pessimism? Is the concept of the future necessary to imagine a different present? How does the rhetoric and logic of futural temporality obscure or shed light on present historical conditions? How does it add to or otherwise alter our notions of "value," whether economic, social, vital, etc.? How does it guide our notions of technological, scientific, cultural "advancement" and/or production?
This class will engage theories of the future and temporality more broadly around the work of authors and theorists like Michel Foucault, Juana María Rodríguez, José Muñoz, Donna Haraway, and Octavia Butler. We will ask how time is transformed and mediated by social interactions; how we meanwhile transform and mediate both time and space; and how we might think about other formations—like the body, the state, and the page of a novel—as themselves alternate vessels for thinking temporality and the future in particular.