Crises and technological futures: experiences, emotion, and action

Karena Kalmbach, Andreas Marklund, Anna Åberg

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Abstract

We have grown accustomed to the near-constant invocation of
“crisis” as part of our everyday media consumption. During periods of insecurity,
historically contingent crisis imaginaries tend to evolve, linking
developments in the historical present to cultural memories of a fearful past
and visions of an unwanted future. A historical understanding of these
imaginaries, along with their societal and material aftermath—including
their impact in relation to political choice and decision-making—is imperative
for the history of technology. This article aims to problematize the complex
relationship between crisis imaginaries and technological futures acknowledging
the triple temporality of crises. In order to shed light on the rich
potential of historical research into the entanglements of past- and futureoriented crisis narratives, we exemplify this approach in three empirical
research themes: security and the experience of past and future; fears as drivers
of technological development; political decision-making and the future
of space mining.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-281
Number of pages10
JournalTechnology and Culture
Volume61
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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