Migration Working Group – The Future of Europe as a Cultural Fact – A Conversation with Arjun Appadurai, 31 January 2018, EUI, Florence
In his 2013 book The Future as Cultural Fact, Arjun Appadurai wrote that we need to understand better the interactions between three notable human preoccupations: imagination, anticipation, and aspiration. The capacities to aspire, anticipate and imagine are recognizably universal but culturally defined; they take their force within local systems of value and meaning. In exercising our capacities to imagine, anticipate and aspire, Appadurai argues that we need to adopt an ethics of possibility (of building a better, more equitable world for ourselves and our children) against an ethics of probability (of risk, disaster and privately created security). Thinking about the future of Europe today one wonders what is the balance of forces between a transnational ethics of possibility (and responsibility) and a national or regional ethics of probability. This workshop will critically discuss how the concepts outlined above have played out in recent European crises (the Eurozone crisis, the refugee emergency) and how they can help us rethink the future of Europe.
Arjun Appadurai is the Goddard Professor in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, where he is also Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge. Appadurai is world renowned expert on the cultural dynamics of globalisation, having authored numerous books and scholarly articles.
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