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What Does the Future Hold?

  • Episode 1: Energy Futures with Simone Abram

    12 OCT 2023 · We begin this series with Professor Simone Abram, who makes the case for why anthropology is here to help when it comes to thinking about the future. We hear all about her research exploring how engineers, economists, scientists and other energy system designers shape the technologies we can expect to see in our lives in the coming years. This work means imagining different versions of tomorrow all the time – and shows us that working together is the only positive way forward. In this episode, Simone refers to a book called https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783110745641/html, written by a collective of anthropologists around the world, packed with case studies on energy worlds of the future. https://newwritingnorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Simone-Abram_TRANSCRIPT.pdf. Produced for Durham Book Festival with support from Durham University. Presented and directed by Lucie McNeil. https://newwritingnorth.com/journal/what-does-the-future-hold/
    Played 39m 55s
  • Episode 2: The Telling Life of Trees with Kate Hampshire

    12 OCT 2023 · Professor of Anthropology Kate Hampshire is working with chainsaw operators in the North East of England: foresters and arborists who cut trees for a living. In this episode, she explores the concepts of time which are deeply interwoven in the life of trees and the practice of tree surgery. Reflecting on her hands-on research in the field (or in this case, woodland), Kate asks how we might hold the future in the face of existential uncertainty about our species and our planet. https://newwritingnorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Kate-Hampshire_TRANSCRIPT.pdf Please note that this interview was recorded before the illegal felling took place at Sycamore Gap. Produced for Durham Book Festival with support from Durham University. Presented and directed by Lucie McNeil. https://newwritingnorth.com/journal/what-does-the-future-hold/
    Played 21m 29s
  • Episode 3: Painting a Sustainable City with Felix Ringel

    12 OCT 2023 · What does a sustainable urban future look like? Social anthropologist Felix Ringel has spent years studying the urban communities of post-industrial cities in Germany – communities who have first needed to regain a sense of future, before then looking at what work might be necessary to make those futures a reality. Hope is useful, but we need determination too. In this episode, Felix tells us about passionate youth councils, imaginative planning, and how local people turned an entire apartment block into a work of collective art – before the bulldozers arrived. https://newwritingnorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Felix-Ringel_TRANSCRIPT.pdf Produced for Durham Book Festival with support from Durham University. Presented and directed by Lucie McNeil. https://newwritingnorth.com/journal/what-does-the-future-hold/
    Played 34m 29s
  • Episode 4: Planning for the Next Pandemic with Hannah Brown

    12 OCT 2023 · In the post covid-19 era, it is clearer than ever that we need to think about how to manage a future that includes epidemic and pandemic diseases. Professor Hannah Brown is determined to ensure that any future responses consider the full breadth of research and insight into previous epidemics, and that anthropologists have a seat at the table when it comes to making those decisions. Hannah talks about the importance of detail – of looking at the whole picture, identifying ‘blind spots’ and using past learning to plan as best we can for the future. https://newwritingnorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Hannah-Brown_TRANSCRIPT.pdf Produced for Durham Book Festival with support from Durham University. Presented and directed by Lucie McNeil. https://newwritingnorth.com/journal/what-does-the-future-hold/
    Played 21m 43s
  • Episode 5: Running in the Dark with Michael Crawley

    12 OCT 2023 · In this episode, social anthropologist Michael Crawley thinks about the impact of technological advancement and ‘cyborgification’ in the world of athletics. There are limits on what we consider humanly possible, but those limits are increasingly being challenged and changed. Focusing on the research for his new book about endurance, Michael asks: at what point do athletic achievements become less about the athletes and more about the technologies that facilitate their success? And what implications does this have on what it means to be human? https://newwritingnorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Michael-Crawley_TRANSCRIPT.pdf Produced for Durham Book Festival with support from Durham University. Presented and directed by Lucie McNeil. https://newwritingnorth.com/journal/what-does-the-future-hold/
    Played 33m
  • Episode 6: Resisting Reconciliation with Nayanika Mookherjee

    12 OCT 2023 · In the final episode of this series, we hear from Professor of Political Anthropology Nayanika Mookherjee. Nayanika joins us from home to talk about her work around post-conflict reconciliation. Expectations of forgiveness often make it incumbent upon survivors to reconcile and seek closure as an exhibition of ‘moving on’ for a ‘happy’ future – but what if this fails to address injustice? Drawing on her recently published book https://www.wiley.com/en-gb/On+Irreconciliation-p-9781119933267, Nayanika examines the need to not forgive as a political stance, and how irreconciliation can create an indeterminate future – or ‘frozenness’. https://newwritingnorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Nayanika-Mookherjee_TRANSCRIPT.pdf Produced for Durham Book Festival with support from Durham University. Presented and directed by Lucie McNeil. https://newwritingnorth.com/journal/what-does-the-future-hold/
    Played 28m 37s

What does the future hold? It’s a big question. The word ‘future’ itself can have many different connotations. Six anthropologists at Durham University sit down for six different conversations about...

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What does the future hold?

It’s a big question. The word ‘future’ itself can have many different connotations.
Six anthropologists at Durham University sit down for six different conversations about what answers – and what further questions – we might find. Through the fascinating lens of their current research, these thinkers will look at what kind of futures we might imagine for ourselves, and what powers we have to make them happen.

Produced for Durham Book Festival in partnership with Durham University.
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Author New Writing North
Categories Society & Culture
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