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Futurity Factory is a one-day symposium that will bring together humanities faculty and graduate students to explore the agency of the arts and cultural production in shaping epistemic, technological and scientific change. This symposium aims to galvanize cutting-edge and interdisciplinary research on the cultural construction of the future. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of English, Science and Technology Studies, Cinema and Digital Media, Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, The UC Humanities Research Institute and the UC Davis Humanities Institute.



9:30 am | Coffee, pastries, opening remarks


10am | Faculty Flash Round: Worlds and Worlding moderated by Katherine Buse

ft. UC Davis Faculty: Joshua Clover, Marisol de la Cadena, Kathleen Fredrickson (video), Mark Jerng, Tobias Menely, Michael Saler, Scott Shershow, Kalindi Vora, and Michael Ziser


11am | Faculty Flash Round: Technologies and Mediation moderated by Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal

ft. UC Davis Faculty: Lishan AZ, Stephanie Boluk, Joseph Dumit (video), Kristopher Fallon, Patrick LeMieux, Timothy Lenoir, Owen Marshall, Emily Merchant, Colin Milburn, and Lindsay Poirier


12:10 pm | Keynote |   Patrick Jagoda, University of Chicago

"How to Make Better Problems: Alternate Reality Games and Speculative Media”

(light lunch will be served)


2:10pm | Computational Speculations moderated by Yasmine Hachimi

  • Jacob Hagelberg (UCD): “Financing attention: labor, value, and the credit of metrics”

  • Sam Pizelo (UCD): “‘I’m From the Future’: Futurity as a Site of Racial Contest in the South Korean Hallyu”

  • Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal (UCD): “Inside the Machine: Lacan, von Neumann, and the Search for a Subject”


3:10 pm | Speculative Landscapes moderated by Benjamin Blackman

  • Lisa Han (UCSB): “Mediating Oceanic Frontiers”

  • Robert Moeller (UCD): Suspicious Landscapes: Cultivating, Managing, Consuming Dystopia

  • Katherine Buse (UCD): The Speculative Atmosphere in Computer Graphics circa 1985


4:10 pm  | Keynote | Lindsay Thomas, University of Miami

"Training for Catastrophe: National Security and the Use of Fiction After 9/11"

If you have questions, please contact Katherine Buse (kebuse AT ucdavis DOT edu) or Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal (rjdhaliwal AT ucdavis DOT edu)



Patrick Jagoda is Associate Professor of English and Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, author of Network Aesthetics (University of Chicago Press, 2016) and co-author with Michael Maizels  of The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer (MIT Press, 2016). His new book project, Experimental Games, explores the rise of “gamification,” or the use of game mechanics in traditionally nongame activities, in American culture. Patrick is co-founder of the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab and the creator of games that include Parasite, Speculation, The Source and S.E.E.D..


Lindsay Thomas is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Miami. She is the author of numerous articles about risk media, surveillance technologies, science fiction, and the digital humanities. She is currently completing a new book, Training for Catastrophe: National Security and the Use of Fiction After 9/11 about how the national security state uses fiction to produce knowledge about future threats. Lindsay is co-director of WhatEvery1Says, a project that examines contemporary public discourse about the humanities on a large scale.

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