The Future is Already Deterritorialised

Thursday 13 September 2018 University College London

Claire ColebrookEdwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Philosophy, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Pennsylvania State University

As part of the Deterritorialising the Future programme, Professor Claire Colebrook will present a keynote talk addressing the core theme of ‘deterritorialisation’ on Thursday 13th September at UCL. Abstract below.

“One way to think about the future is that it has already been inescapably deterritorialised. Whatever we might like to think or hope about our selves, our species, our planet, and others, the space or territory of ‘the’ future has already been overtaken by a force that is not the future’s own. Capitalism’s dreams of global markets, universal justice, and maximal inclusion are destined to fall apart because of planetary and ecological forces that will take on a life and future of their own. The same could be said for any number of other trajectories: whatever we might have envisioned as the end points of post-colonialism, post-modernism, post-feminism or post-humanism have been captured by a temporality that has deranged the scale of whatever we took our territory to be. Within Deleuze and Guattari’s work we might find the resources for thinking about higher deterritorialisation, where the very shifts that seem to have overtaken the future are intensified or — as I will argue in this talk — decolonised. Rather than think of decolonisation as an easy metaphor, where we allow the future to be given over to those who have not already scripted and mapped out the line of history, and rather than taking decolonisation literally, where we imagine that there is a space or territory that can provide the scene for a genuine future, I will argue that both decolonisation and deterritorialisation place the difference between the actual and the figural under pressure. Far from this being a merely literary or theoretical problem, I will argue that thinking in terms of territories and futures is ultimately a problem of colonisation.”

Time and venue will be confirmed soon.