We live in a world saturated by future-consciousness. Our lives are constructed around expectations of the future as full and as flawed as our understandings of the past. This volume is a conceptual tool kit for thinking about the hopes and anxieties embodied in ideas of the future. Exploring links between panic and stalgia, waiting and utopia, techlogy and messianism, and prophecy and trauma, it brings together critical meditations on the social, cultural, and intellectual practices that create narratives of the future. Progsticators, speculators, prophets, and other visionaries have their say, but the volume's emphasis is on smaller narratives, on the connections between expectation and experience in daily life. The contributors trace futures as they are imagined in sites as diverse as Rachel, Nevada, the ufo capital of the world; the gambling, savings, and stock market investment strategies of postwar middle-class American families; the private and published writings of science fiction author Philip K. Dick; and early-twentieth-century futurist art movements in Europe and Japan.They examine how cell phones created a new kind of revolutionary anticipation in the Filipi People Power movements, how Christianity and alien visions coalesced to produce an expectation of impending apocalypse within the Heaven's Gate movement, and how information techlogies, and particularly hypertext, reorder kwledge and expectations. Histories of the Future is punctuated by three interludes: a game in which readers are encouraged to use icons of companies, persons, products, and places to form future narratives of their own; a short story in which the rewned fiction writer Jonathan Lethem imagines the future as a gigantic traffic jam; and a remarkable graphic research tool: a timeline of timelines. Contributors. Sasha Archibald Susan Harding Jamer Hunt Pamela Jackson Susan Lepselter Jonathan Lethem Joseph Masco Christopher Newfield Elizabeth Pollman Vicente Rafael Daniel Rosenberg Miryam Sas Kathleen Stewart Anna Tsing
Daniel Rosenberg is Assistant Professor of History in the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. He specializes in the intellectual and cultural history of the French Enlightenment.Susan Harding is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her most recent book is The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics.