Guest Lecture by Sheila Jasanoff

Scaling the Imagination. Futures, Frictions, and Fallacies of Globalization

We are pleased to announce the next lecture on Infrastructures and look forward to welcoming Sheila Jasanoff from Harvard University as guest speaker. The speaker's abstract can be found below.

Time: 17 June 2019, 5-7pm Location: Lecture hall 4, auditorium building, Universitätsstrasse 3

Speaker's abstract: Scientific predictions reinscribe upon humanity’s future aspects of science’s own self-imagination, in particular, those of inevitability and universalism. Growing knowledge is associated with progress and with release from the adverse aspects of the human condition, but catastrophist visions also occur, most notably in the case of climate change, but also in earlier premonitions of nuclear disaster and the population explosion. Common to all of these is the sense that humanity in its entirety will be equally affected, for good or ill, and salvation for all will only come through the pursuit of science and technology. I will complicate this narrative by showing how normative differences are elided in order to sustain the myth of a common future (and, in the era of the anthropocene, also a common past) on a global scale for all of humankind. Contemporary political developments suggest that a very different work of the imagination – one more attentive to questions of responsibility – will be needed to project a picture of a shared future that a fragmented world polity is willing to accept as desirable or achievable.


Annette Veit
 Tel + 49 341 97 37 220
Fax + 49 341 97 37 229
Office Hours:
10 am - 11 am
1 pm - 2 pm


Ursula Rao
 +49 341 97 37 221
Institut für Ethnologie
Schillerstraße 6
04109 Leipzig