On Thinking, Crafting and Claiming the Future(s)

February 12–13th, 2018
University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Lecture hall 5, 3rd fl (Fabianinkatu 33)

The symposium will attend to how people make claims on the future through various forms of expectations, hopes, interventions, perceived constraints, and power of imagination. It will ask how to deal with what does not yet exist? Our invited speakers will present their work on thinking the future in relation to time, subjectivity, gender, environment, materiality, notions of doubt, selfdenial, failure and success. Diverse theoretical and ethnographic insights from Latin America, North and East Europe, and Melanesia are brought to this event in order to escape classical regional interpretations and open up new ways of theorising the notion of future.

The keynote speaker is Professor Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov from the Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg.

The symposium is organised by dr Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen and dr Maja Petrović-Šteger. The event is open for students, staff and general public and free of charge.

Event on Facebook.

Download here the FUTURE program + book of abstracts.


Monday, February 12th 2018

16:00 – 16:10    Welcome and introductory words by Pirjo K. Virtanen

16:10 – 16:40    Cesar Giraldo Herrera (University of Oxford): Emerging infectious diseases and local primary health: devolving science involving development.

16:40 – 17:10     Laura Siragusa (University of Helsinki): The future is not (only) in humans’ hands: Environment’s, territorial masters’, ‘wild/domestic’ animals’ authority over Vepsian ways of speaking.

17:10 – 17:40    Patricia Scalco (University of Helsinki): (Un)desirable futures: an approach to youth and sexual moralities in Istanbul 

17:40 – 18:15    General discussion


Tuesday, February 13th 2018

9:00–9:10        Welcome and introductory words by Maja Petrović-Šteger

9:10–10:15      Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov (Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg): Future and temporal multiplicity: a brief anthropology of time.

10:15–10:30    Coffee

10:30–11:00    Maja Petrović-Šteger (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts): Time works for us! Projecting hope and future in Serbia.

11:00–11:30    Timo Kaartinen (University of Helsinki): Waterfalls, oil palms, and the imagery of future landscapes.

11:30–12:00    Borut Telban (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts): ‘Wait!’: Crafting the future in Papua New Guinea.

12:00–12:30   Nataša Gregorič Bon (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts): Paving the future in contemporary Albania.

12:30–13:00   General discussion

13:00–14:15    Lunch

14:15–14:45    Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen (University of Helsinki): Future is here: Living well through mutual exchanges in Brazilian Amazonia.

14:45–15:15    Inkeri Aula (University of Eastern Finland): Temporal reorientations of Afro-Brazilian quilombo heritage: a method of hope.

15:15–15:45    Eleonora Lundell (University of Helsinki): Making of futures in Southeast Brazilian Umbanda.

15:45–16:15   Jane Guyer (Johns Hopkins University): Metaphors for “Pushing Onward”, towards 2020 (with 20/20 vision?)

16:15–16:30    Coffee

16:30–17:00    General discussion and closing thoughts.





Dr Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen,, Tel: 00358 294140020,

Dr Maja Petrović-Šteger,, Tel: 00386 41258 119.