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Possible Futures: Imagination and Speculation to Resist in the Anthropocene
Prof. Dr. Renato Sztutman
(Universidade de São Paulo)

The focus of this presentation is the place of imagination and speculation in the Anthropocene, a geological epoch in which humanity has become the in which humanity has become the predominant force, putting the integrity of the planet at risk. Answers that require thinking about possible futures. By imagination I mean the ability to create or to fabricate from lived situations. I do not take imagination as synonymous with fantasy, as an imaginary that is opposed to the real. By speculation I mean the ability to think about possibilities, to list possible worlds. It is an operation engaged in thinking what things could be, which starts from a “what if…” I do not take speculation as wholly abstract reasoning that loses footing with the facts, as pure contemplation, but as reasoning that wonders about what might become real. To pursue these questions, I will follow the reflections of different authors, who are situated, each in their own way, on the border between anthropology, philosophy, science and technology studies, and fiction (there included especially literature and film). A point that will be especially illuminated is the fact that these authors signal an interesting connection between the literary universe of science fiction and that of the mythological narratives of indigenous peoples, for whom the time of catastrophes would have begun long ago.

May 30th, 15:00, Seminar room – CES Lisboa