Issue VI/2015

(deadline for abstract submission: 1st July 2015; deadline for article submission: 1st October 2015)

Editors: Neil Turnbull e Pier Luca Marzo

Debates about the significance of the imagination in relation to the constitution of contemporary social and cultural formations have recently taken centre stage in philosophy and social theory.  Social imaginaries – understood as the implicit image-conceptualities within human practices that give both shape and direction to quotidian forms of life – are now widely understood as the key to understanding the nature of contemporary modernity and its likely future ‘developmental’ trajectories. According to thinkers as diverse as Charles Taylor and Alain Badiou, the attempt to understand modernity as an imaginary institution is now the point of departure for all critical interventions vis-à-vis the social ontologies of the present.

In this regard, and in wider political terms, the question of how to imagine a world beyond the current neo-liberal one has also become pressing and important; to the extent that the question of the social imaginary has become central to recent debates about political futurity and the imaginary significations of an era that, according to some, is witnessing the ‘closing of the historical time horizon’ in a new cybernetic phase of history.  In this vein, many social theorists have claimed that, today, social life is now informed by a new technological imaginaire that is now increasingly active at the level of both perceptual and somatic processes and is redefining the very meaning of society, politics and humanity itself.

This special issue of the journal Im@go will explore the extent to which contemporary technics can be conceived as new a form of social imaginary through which the basic conceptualities of modernity are being reformed and reworked.   In this regard, submissions might usefully address one or more of the following topics:

  • Technology as an imaginary institution and its relationship to the idea of ‘the real’
  • Technology as dream; psychoanalytic accounts of technology
  • The role of technology in the construction of ecological imaginaries
  • The imaginary in relation to innovation and design
  • Technology, nihilism and the void
  • Mediated imaginaries
  • Technological mythologies
  • Luddism and the anti-technological imaginary
  • The relationship between the imaginary and the imagination in contemporary technics
  • Technology, imagery and perception
  • Technology and social imaginary of the market
  • Technology and radical political imaginaries
  • Imagination and creativity as social critique
  • Technology and futurity: dystopian social imaginaries
  • The historical imaginary, technology and the idea of the ‘epochal’
  • Technology and the imagined body
  • The spatial and temporal dimensions of the social imaginary and their relationship to technological processes
  • Neo-liberalism and the cybernetic imaginary
  • The role of imaginary in the work of Althusser, Lacan, Kristeva and Castoriadis.

Submission should be in English, French or Italian and submitted to the special issue editors at neil.turnbull @ ntu.ac.uk, marzop @ unime.it, and rivistaimago @ gmail.com