Future Nostalgia and Present Utopia: Reimaging Futurism in Film and New Media
Program in Film and Media Studies at the University of Pittsburgh
Keynote Speaker: Diana Flores Ruíz
Date: September 23-24

The University of Pittsburgh Film and Media Studies Program is pleased to announce “Future Nostalgia and Present Utopia: Reimaging Futurism in Film and New Media,” its twelfth Annual Graduate Student Conference, which will be held virtually on September 23–24, 2023.

The contemporary cultural landscape is notably marked by the failure of the modernist avant-garde utopia in art and politics of the twentieth century. While all sectors of cultural production have seen melancholic or alarmist responses to this crisis, new utopian imagination and futuristic projects might promise constructive alternatives. From Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) to the margins of global filmmaking and film-thinking, artists use their craft to project a future of infinite possibilities while tapping into the craft and mood of older media. This conference will explore how aesthetics and community shape our contemporary understanding of futurism and utopia in different cinematic practices from all over the globe.

Potential topics for either panels or individuals include (but are not limited to):

  • Indigenous futurism/utopianism
  • Queer futurism/utopianism
  • Global ecocide and catastrophic futurism/utopianism
  • The politics of futurism/utopianism
  • Critical futurism/utopianism
  • Feminist futurism/utopianism
  • Transnational and global futurism/utopianism
  • Afrofuturism among Othered futurisms
  • Masking, unmasking, and empowerment
  • Pandemics, plagues, poxes, and futurisms/utopianists: the spread of colonizing, eugenicist, genocidal, or resistance infections
  • Politics, ideologies, and revolution
  • Subgenres of futurism/utopianism – all subgenres are welcome

Interested graduate students should submit abstracts (maximum 300 words) – along with biographies (maximum 100 words), institutional/departmental affiliations, and current email – to pittfilmgradconference@gmail.com by July 20th, 2023. For more information, please contact the Pitt Film and Media Studies Graduate Student organization at the above email.