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Call for Papers The Second International Conference on Anticipation
Sep 23, 2016  

The 2nd International Conference on Anticipation provides an interdisciplinary meeting ground in which researchers, scholars and practitioners who are seeking to understand anticipation and anticipatory practices can come together to deepen their understanding and create productive new connections.

The overarching aim of the conference and of the emerging field of Anticipation Studies is to create new understandings of how individuals, groups, institutions, systems and cultures use ideas of the future to act in the present.  This conference will build on the 1st Conference of Anticipation, held in Trento, Italy in 2015 which saw over 350 delegates gather to explore topics ranging from design futures, to anticipatory economics and the philosophy of the present.

This second conference aims to put into dialogue the empirical, practical and theoretical insights that are emerging in highly diverse fields ranging from biology to psychology, cultural geography to critical theory, physics to design, history to mathematics, urban theory to engineering.


Organised around a set of sensitising questions designed to push forward interdisciplinary understanding the conference will intentionally create real opportunities for dialogue, learning and exploration; it will actively enable participants both to deepen their understanding of anticipation in their own fields while encountering the new ideas emerging elsewhere.

To that end, we are inviting proposals for the conference that speak to the following questions which are intended to encourage conversations between researchers, practitioners and scholars addressing anticipatory phenomena and practices in different ways.

• How do we understand anticipatory differences?
• How do different cultures, religions and traditions anticipate? How do implicit and explicit forms of anticipation compare? How do individual and systemic forms of anticipation relate to each other? What are the history and geography and cultural studies of anticipation? How/do mathematical and narrative traditions of framing the future inform action differently? 

• What are the affective and embodied aspects of Anticipation?
• Anticipation as anxiety; the role of joy, desire and pleasure; Embodied emotion and affect; what is this need to talk about the future at all, where does it come from? What is the work of hope and fear? What do these emotions do?  (Psycho)analysing anticipation.

• How do we live in time?
• What is the present? How soon is now? How is temporality understood at different scales and by different disciplines? What are the instruments for measuring time?  What are the different forms of time that we live within? The grammar of living in time – the subjunctive

• How does the future get made?
• What is the nature of anticipatory work? Where is it being made that ‘we’ don’t know about? Who are the actors making and shaping futures? What are the undercurrents of future making?  Who/ how is the future being hacked? How are automatic systems and technologies making their own futures? What is the role of complexity, non linearity, indeterminacy? What are the conditions and practices for Design and Engineering to influence futures.

• Who owns and governs the future?
• How do anticipatory regimes produce governance? Who is telling the story of the future? What media and systems are being used to govern future narratives? What are the political economies of anticipation? New economic models new anticipatory imaginaries? Democracy and anticipation. How/is the future being colonised?

• How to keep the future open?
• How does the imagination colonise or keep open future possibilities ? How are we to care for the future? What processes, practices and techniques might we use to pluralise and keep open the future? How do we work with risk? What is our responsibility in designing and embedding futures? Which conditions and what contexts are important for educating or legislating for open futures?

• What is the relationship between an idea of the future and action in the present?
• How do mathematical and statistical models, futures scenarios and plans relate and translate (or not) into action in the present? How do ideational and material elements of anticipation relate to each other?

Participants registered for all of the following formats will be given a formal certificate of attendance and contribution at the conference.

Curated Sessions
These sessions of 90 minutes are intended to generate interdisciplinary discussion. To that end, these sessions must address one (or more) of the questions outlined above and they should actively involve a number of different disciplines. Single-issue sessions (for example, proposals on ‘the future of cities or ‘degrowth’ or on particular methods e.g. on ‘scenarios’, ‘science fiction’ or ‘modelling’) will not be accepted.

We are keen to encourage more diverse formats in these proposals. To that end, while curated sessions must include at least 4 registered speakers they can take highly diverse formats within the time available. They might include, for example, a participatory workshop that invites embodied exploration of different concepts or practices of anticipation; a traditional symposium of four papers and a discussant; a set of multiple inputs of different forms, designed to elicit conversation and reflection; a guided walk with place based interventions. The choice of format lies with the session curators. The remit is to facilitate deep conversation and reflection amongst the conference participants. Proposals should be of no more than 1000 words and should include: an abstract outlining the substantive issues to be explored in the session and how these relate to the conference questions, a summary of the format being proposed (as well as any specific technical/space requirements where necessary), a (short) summary of the contributions of each of the curators as well as of any underlying research, scholarship or practice upon which the session is based, and details for the main person to contact.

Papers will have 15 minutes for a presentation of the main points of the argument and will present alongside other papers organised into similar themes.  Four papers will be discussed collectively in a chaired conversation. Papers can be submitted on any topic relating to Anticipation, although priority will be given to those attending to the questions above. Proposals should be of no more than 1000 words and should include: an abstract outlining the substantive issues to be explored in the session, a discussion of how the paper relates to the existing research, literature and/or practice in the field, as well as a summary of the research, scholarship or practice upon which the session is based.

New Ideas Sessions
Here, participants are encouraged to key points on emerging research, theories or ideas that may not yet be ready for a full paper session. This may be because the work is the early stages of development or forms part of a PhD study.  Participants will have 7 minutes to share their ideas. The session will be convened by member of the conference committee who will chair the discussion and facilitate an exploratory conversation around emerging themes and issues.  Proposals should be of no more than 500 words and should include: an abstract outlining the emerging ideas to be discussed and how these ideas relate to the current state of the field.

Techniques Workshops
These sessions are designed to enable practitioners and researchers to test out or share more established techniques they are using to study or reflect upon anticipation. They should include no fewer than 3 registered presenters. The session might introduce participants to processes that are designed to increase sensitivity to anticipatory assumptions, or methods for researching anticipatory practice. Participants will have 90 minutes for the workshop and conference delegates will be required to sign up in advance up to a maximum of 30 places. Proposals should be of no more than 1000 words and provide details of the processes and format of the session, the experience of the presenters and their previous use of these processes, as well as detailing any technical or space requirements.

Dialogue Sessions
The conference will also host a number of open space and dialogue and debate sessions. These are included to allow new themes, topics and ideas to be identified and explored. If you are keen to run one of these, please contact a member of the Organising Committee in the first instance.

Submitting a proposal
To submit a proposal please go to and use the ‘submit abstract’ button.

Key dates for speakers
Abstract Submission Deadline – 27 January 2017
Notification of Acceptance – 13 March 2017
All speakers are required to register by 30 April 2017 (any presenters not registered by this date will be withdrawn from the programme)

Speakers Conference fee - £285 (only applicable to 30 April 2017)
Early Bird Conference fee - £315 (only available after 30 April 2017)
Standard Conference fee - £350 (after 30 August 2017)
Fees include; registration for the conference, reception drinks, refreshments and lunches throughout the conference & full conference dinner (9 November 2017).

The conference will be held at Senate House, School of Advanced Study, in central London. This venue is right next to the British Museum and in the heart of Bloomsbury. The area offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget to five star facilities and is easily accessible from Heathrow and other London airports.

Conference Organising Committee
Professor Keri Facer (University of Bristol, Conference Chair) Katherine Dunleavy (University of Bristol, Conference Coordinator) Dr Mike Gulliver (University of Bristol, Conference Coordinator) Professor Ted Fuller (University of Lincoln), Professor Sandra Kemp (Victoria & Albert Museum), Professor Andrew Morrison (AHO, Oslo), Professor Mary Ryan (Imperial College), Dr Johan Siebers (School of Advanced Study), Professor Roberto Poli (University of Trento)

To contact the organising committee please email:
You can also follow us on Twitter (@anticip2017) for the latest conference news and further information can be found on the website:


I never cease to be amazed by “calls for papers” that make zero mention of where the conference is to be held, or when.

The same holds for the formal web site:

No one “anticipated” a problem with this?  Am I supposed to guess?

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