amor mundi

Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Syllabus for My Upcoming Summer Intensive

CS 301AK-01 (3759) Critical Theory B: For Futurity: A Clash of Futurisms

When/Where: Tuesdays/Thursdays, 4.15-7pm. Online (ONL-CS3) 
Summer Session, 2020, June 9-July 30 at the San Francisco Art Institute
Course Blog:
Instructor: Dale Carrico;

Course Description: Futurity is a register of freedom, "The Future" another prison-house built to confine it. Futurity is the openness in the present arising out of the ineradicable diversity of calculating, contending, and collaborative stakeholders who struggle to make and remake the shared world. "The Future," to the contrary, brandishing the shackle of its definite article, is always described from a parochial present and is always a funhouse mirror reflecting a parochial present back to itself, amplifying its desires and fears, confirming its prejudices, reassuring its Believers that the Key to History is in their hands. This course will stage a contest of futures: Italian Futurism, corporate-military think-tank futurologies, Afro-Futurists, punks, crips, queers, and some competing versions of posthumanism for good measure. Both ranting and raving will be involved. In the end, I will send you out on stage yourselves... and Into! The! Future!

In this class we will distinguish (while also pressuring these distinctions):

1). Futurity: The quality of openness inhering in the diversity of stakeholders to any political present.
2). The Future: Sites of imaginative investment, a Destiny/Destination at which "We" never arrive.
3). Futurisms: imagined and intentional communities, subcultures, memberships, and fandoms organized and sustained through identification with particular visions or narratives of The Future.
4). Futurology: A parochially profitable pseudo-scientific discipline confusing marketing with understanding, and the quintessential justificatory discourse for white-racist patriarchal extractive-industrial corporate-militarism (ie, global financialized "neoliberal" capitalism).

Grade Provisionally Based on the Following: Attendance/Participation, 15%; Reading Notebook (3 Quotes/3 Questions/3 works), 15%; Mid-term Precis (2-3pp.), 15%; In-Class Presentation, 15%; Final Symposium Presentation, 15%; Final Paper, 25%. (This is a rough basis for your final grade, which is also subject to contingencies, improvement, and so on.) 

Schedule of Meetings (Subject to Change, Check Online Version for Updates)


Week One: Futurity 


Jenny Anderson, "The Great Future Debate and the Struggle for the World"
Ted Goertzel, "
Methods and Approaches of Future Studies"
Roland Barthes, from
Mythologies, "The Nautilus and the Drunken Boat," “Jet-Man," "Plastic" (for the relevant passages scroll to pp. 65-67, 88-90, 97-99.)
Audrey Watters:
The Best Way to Predict the Future Is To Issue A Press Release  
William Gibson, "The Gernsback Continuum" (short story)

Discussion, Tuesday, June 9
Workshopping: Syllabus
PRESENTATION(S):  Personal Introductions

Lecture, Thursday, June 11

Week Two: Singularity


Shannon Mattern, Databodies in Codespace
Marc Steigler, "The Gentle Seduction" (short story)

Lecture, June 16

Discussion, Thursday, June 18
Workshopping: Ethos, Pathos, Logos; Audience and Intentions.

Week Three: Ecology


Laurie Anderson, “The Language of the Future” (performance)

Lecture, Tuesday, June 23

Discussion, Thursday, June 25
Workshopping: The Toulmin Schema

Week Four: Eugenics


Peter Cohen (dir.), Homo Sapiens 1900 (a documentary about 20C eugenics)
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun,
Race And/As Technology
Critical Arts Ensemble,
Eugenics: The Second Wave
Alison Kafer, Imagined Futures from Feminist, Queer, Crip
Amy Goodman interviews Harriet Washington about her book Medical Apartheid: Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
Octavia Butler, The Evening, the Morning, and the Night (short story)

Lecture, Tuesday, June 30


Discussion, Thursday, July 2
Workshopping: Aims of Argument: Interrogation – Convinction – Persuasion – Reconciliation
Precis due by end of scheduled class session.

Week Five: No Future!                                


Alfonso Cuaron (dir.), Children of Men (film)
Lee Edelman, The Future Is Kid Stuff

Lecture, Tuesday, July 7

Discussion, Thursday, July 9
Workshopping: Critical Film Terms

Week Six: The Italian Futurists


FT Marinetti, The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism
FT Marinetti,
War, The World's Only Hygiene
Valentine de Saint-Point, Manifesto of Futurist Women
Valentine de Saint-Point,
Futurist Manifesto of Lust
Luigi Russolo,
The Art of Noises
Toxic Titties, Mamaist Manifesto
Karen Pinkus,
Futurism: Proto Punk

Lecture, Tuesday, July 14

Discussion, Thursday, July 16
Workshopping: Final Papers

Week Seven: Afro-Futurists

“Africa Is The Future”
Mark Dery interviews Samuel Delany, Greg Tate, and Tricia Rose
Tananarive Due,
Afrofuturism: Dreams to Banish Nightmares
Nnedi Okorafor,
The Magical Negro (this one page story is the first in Okorafor's wonderful collection Kabu Kabu, and the easiest way to read it free is just to preview the book at Amazon, and scroll to the story)
Nnedi Okorafor:
On Stephen King's Super-Duper Magical Negroes
Lanre Bakare, Afrofuturism Takes Flight: From Sun Ra to Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae: “Dirty Computer” (short “emotion picture”) and selected other videos (linked on the blog).

Lecture, Tuesday, July 21

Discussion, Thursday, July 23

Week Eight: Symposium

Symposium, Day One, Tuesday, July 28 (program will appear online)

Symposium, Day Two, Thursday, July 30 (program online, followed by housekeeping, last chance Presentations, and concluding remarks).
Final Paper due by end of final scheduled class session.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Vote Out Hate

His own words are all you need to hear. That's been true for years by now, but there it is. Vote against the Nazis or you are one yourself. That's where we are.

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Daily

Saturday, May 16, 2020


Watched so many of my beautiful students graduating today via broadcast on YouTube. So much loss.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Barbara Lee Speaks For Me Mother's Daily