“Imagining the Future” Workshop at STA

Imagining the Future: the Utopian, the Dystopian, and the Posthuman

A One-Day Workshop, Nov. 14, 2014

Despite deeply rooted in the experience of the real, today’s screen culture is increasingly obsessed with the production and construction of the future, a future that takes a variety of different forms and, more than ever, is dramatically “alive,” “real” and “affective” due to the “digital turn” in culture at large. As a result, the notion of the “future” has emerged in recent years as a discourse, a driving force for both independent and mainstream narratives, a place where forces of competing politics are displayed, and a site that transcends borders, redefines human species, remaps cities, and provokes reflections on existing norms (social, political, epistemological, environmental, and ontological).

As a one-day workshop organized by Shanghai Theatre Academy’s newly established Institute of Cinematic Arts, “Imagining the Future” invites scholars of cinema/media studies and cultural studies to investigate, through filmic, media and literary texts (both historical and contemporary), how the future is imagined and constructed in ways specific to our contemporary moment. As a starting point of the investigation but by no means limited to, the workshop seeks to raise the following questions: What kinds of questions does the imagination of the future provoke? How does the notion of the future work as a force of potential intervention in the given state of affairs? How can we use this notion critically to bring potential changes? Or, how does the notion itself need to be interrogated as a useful (or not) analytical term?

The one-day workshop is tentatively scheduled on November 14, 2014, to be held on Shanghai Theater Academy campus. The deadline for submission of one-page abstracts (or working draft) is October 31, 2014. Please send your submission to:

Prof. Shaoyi Sun
Shanghai Theatre Academy


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