History 1Y History of the Future Spring 2011

History 1Y
History of the Future
Spring 2011
Professor Burke

Wednesday Jan 19th


Retro-futurism: an overview
The construction of time

Mac Mantadon, Jetpack Dreams, all

Wednesday Jan. 26th

Millennialism, eschatology and prophecy before 1650

Norman Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium, selection [pdf]
Understanding The Book of Revelation
The Antichrist Legend
The Apocalyptic Worldview
Joachim of Fiore
Ralph Glaber, On the First Millennium
Mother Shipton
Harry Rusche, Prophecies and Propaganda

Exercise: Close reading vs. skimming
Exercise: Interpreting online sources

Wednesday Feb. 2nd

Chasing Utopia: Envisioning futures, 1600-1870

Bacon, Mercier, Condorcet, Fourier, Marx, Owen and Bellamy in The Utopia Reader
Matthew Shaw, Reactions to the French Republican Calendar
The Puritans and the New Jerusalem

Exercise: Question formation
Exercise: Outlining

Wednesday Feb. 9

Fin de Siecle Futures

Jules Verne, Paris in the Twentieth Century, Ch. 5, 11, 16 [pdf]
Albert Robida, The Twentieth Century, pp. 1-127 [pdf]
Isaac Asimov, Futuredays, selection
Predictions for 1993, http://www.paleofuture.com/blog/2009/5/18/predictions-for-1993-1893.html
John Elfreth Watkins, What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years, in Varty, ed., Eve’s Century [pdf]
The World’s Columbian Exhibition, 1893
Debating the Eiffel Tower

In-Class viewing: A Trip to the Moon

Exercise: Introductory paragraphs

Wednesday Feb. 16

High Modernist Futures I

Le Corbusier, The City of To-morrow and Its Planning, pp. 5-106, 159-248
Photographs of Brasilia
Lucio Costa’s Pilot Plan for Brasilia
Marcio de Oliveira, Brasilia: Living Within Modernist Standards
Futurama at the 1939-40 World’s Fair
Clothing of the Future

In-class viewing: Flash Gordon, Films of the 1939 World’s Fair, World’s Fair pictures, Radebaugh images

Film: Things to Come

Exercise: 1st paper due: live review

Wednesday Feb. 23

High Modernist Futures II

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
James Scott, Seeing Like A State, selections
Scheduled film: Metropolis

Exercise: Discussion of final paper assignment, topic selection.

Wednesday March 1

Go Into Plastics: Postwar American Technofuturism

Vannevar Bush, As We May Think
“Hugo Gernsback: The Man Who Invented the Future”
Paleo-Future, 1960s entries
The Future Won’t Wait
House of the Future
The Carousel of Progress

In-class viewing: Design for Dreaming, The Jetsons, Star Trek, Walt Disney Treasures: Tomorrowland

Film: Sleeper

Exercise: Preparing for and participating in discussion.


March 16

Selling the Future: Prediction in an Age of Expertise

Daniel Bell, ed., Towards the Year 2000

Exercise: Search strategies + scavenger hunt

March 23

Expert Eschatology: Predicting Dystopia and Apocalypse

Alvin Toffler, Future Shock. [pdf]
John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar [pdf]
Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb [pdf]
Miscellaneous 60-70s era expert futurisms (assigned individually)

Film: “Soylent Green”

Exercise: summary & presentation. (Students will report on a reading assigned to them.)

March 30

The Future Is Cancelled: Postmodernist Disillusionment

Warren Ellis, Transmetropolitan
Goodbye Retro-Futurism, http://032c.com/2005/goodbye-retro-futurism/
Brian Feis, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?
In-class viewing: Strange Days, Futurama

Film: Blade Runner

Exercise: Genre, media form, and context.

April 6

Modern Millennialism

Tim LaHaye, Left Behind
Hal Lindsey, Late Great Planet Earth, [pdf]
Heaven’s Gate cult initiation video, Part I
Douglas Rushkoff, “Nowhere to Run” (Y2K)
2012 Apocalypse: Is It Really Coming?

In-class showing: “2012”

Exercise: Emic and etic modes of analysis.

April 13

The Resurgence of Expert Futurism

David Orrell, The Future of Everything
World Future Society
The Long Now Foundation
KnowledgeWorks 2020 Forecast
Prediction markets

Exercise: supplementing the materials through discovery practices

April 20

The Singularity Is Near?

Vernor Vinge, “What Is the Singularity?”
Hans Moravec, “The Universal Robot”

Jamais Cascio, “Open the Future”


Exercise: Understanding typicality in cultural history

April 27

Is the future a bad idea?
Paper presentations & workshopping the drafts