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Memories of the Future

On Countervision


Edited By Stephen Wilson and Deborah Jaffé

What is a memory of the future? Is it a myth, a fiction of a severed arm, a post-human debate or a broken time machine? In an increasingly insecure future-world there is an urgency to consider and debate these questions. Memories of the Future: On Countervision addresses these concerns by speculating on the connections between memory and futurity in fields such as counter-histories, women’s studies, science fiction, art and design, technology, philosophy and politics. This book reveals how these subjects regenerate at the intersections of vision, counter-cultural production and the former present. The volume links the re-imaginings of memory into the present with topics such as the fever dream allegory of the adolescent social experience, soft technologies of future dress, reinventions of monetary exchange, rekindled subjectivities of school days, and technics and human progression. These countervisions argue against the homogenizing status quo of the present in order to challenge the customs, traditions and conventions of the past and propositions of the future.

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3 Mortal Engines and The Hunger Games: How Myths from the Past Shape Visions of a Sustainable Future and the Responsibility for It as Represented in Children’s Literature (Julia Eccleshare)


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3   Mortal Engines and The Hunger Games: How Myths from the Past Shape Visions of a Sustainable Future and the Responsibility for It as Represented in Children’s Literature

Contemporary children’s literature currently dwells much in futures in which children must deal with the problems they have inherited from previous generations. New societal structures must resolve the uncomfortable social, political and environmental issues of today by fusing wisdom from the past with the possibilities of the future. Where once escape was to another world through magic as in C. S. Lewis’s Narnia sequence or space as in the highly influential comic strip story Dan Dare in The Eagle, the new worlds created by today’s writers are founded in contemporary reality but with a step-change that ensures the opportunity for change. Authors including Philip Reeve and Suzanne Collins among many others have created post-apocalyptic worlds which directly question contemporary reality. With the young as protagonists and adults playing only subsidiary roles, as befits their status as the originators of the existing defunct status quo, these fictions can be radicalizing or reactionary. All cause young readers to re-imagine their future in worlds where, with the known tools from the past and the imaginary opportunities to come, they will be responsible for blending myth and vision to make a brave new world.

The creation of new model worlds is and has always been a favourite pastime of philosophers, sociologists and political thinkers...

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