FACULTY OVERVIEW: The Future Studies Program is globally unique in that it brings together some of the most prominent thinkers and fascinating scholars across far-reaching fields of inquiry.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR / PROFESSOR
JASON MOHAGHEGH (Ph.D. Columbia University) is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Philosophy at Babson College. He has been an invited keynote speaker in major cities and universities across the world and is a pre-eminent author in multiple fields. His work explores rising cultural and intellectual movements across both Eastern and Western societies. He has published nine books to date--including The Chaotic Imagination (Palgrave, 2010); Inflictions: The Writing of Violence (Bloomsbury, 2012); The Radical Unspoken (Routledge, 2013); Insurgent, Poet, Mystic, Sectarian: The Four Masks of an Eastern Postmodernism (SUNY, 2014), and his latest volumes titled Omnicide: Mania, Fatalism, and the Future-In-Delirium (MIT Press/Urbanomic /Sequence, 2019) and Night: A Philosophy of the After-Dark (Zero Books, 2020). He is also Director of Transdisciplinary Studies for the New Centre for Research & Practice, co-editor of the Suspensions Book Series (Bloomsbury), and founder of the 5th Disappearance Lab. Dr. Mohaghegh's scholarly focus covers far-reaching concepts of chaos, illusion, violence, disappearance, language and silence, psychoanalysis and madness, apocalyptic and futuristic theory.
Fields: Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis
ARSHIN ADIB-MOGHADDAM (Ph.D. Cambridge University) is Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies at SOAS, University of London and Fellow of Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge. As a critic and scholar, he is world-renowned for his work about world politics and the international/comparative politics of West Asia and North Africa. He is the author of several books, including Metahistory of the Clash of Civilizations (Oxford, 2010), On the Arab Revolts and the Iranian Revolution (Bloomsbury, 2013), and Psycho-Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2017). He is a member of several editorial boards, including Third World Quarterly, and he is co-editor in chief of the Cambridge book series, THE GLOBAL MIDDLE EAST. His recent research and teaching has revolved around the impact of artificial intelligence on security, surveillance, and post-human warfare.
Fields: Political Science, Global Thought, Political Philosophy
NANDITA BISWAS MELLAMPHY (Ph.D. University of Toronto) is Associate Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Political Science at Western University; 2020-2022 Associate Editor of The Canadian Journal of Political Science; 2011-2012 Interim Associate Director of the Centre for the Study of Theory & Criticism ; co-founder of The Electro-Governance Group (EGG) and Nietzsche Workshop at Western (NWW), as well as Research Fellow of The New School’s Center for Transformative Media (NY) and The University of Bath’s Centre for War & Technology. Her published works include The Three Stigmata of Friedrich Nietzsche: Political Physiology in the Age of Nihilism (2010) in addition to book-chapters in anthologies such as The Digital Dionysus: Nietzsche and the Network-Centric Condition (2016), Critical Post-Humanism & Planetary Futures (2015), Speculations of the Other Women: New Realisms in Feminist Philosophy (2015), The Imaginary App: MIT Software Studies (2015), The Funambulist Papers (2014), Nietzsche & Political Theory (2014), Nietzsche & Political Thought (2013), Leper Creativity (2012), plus Nietzsche, Power & Politics (2008). Her work can also be found in journals such as Deleuze Studies, Foucault Studies, Design Ecologies, Philosophy & Technology, CultureMachine, FibreCulture, e-International Relations, Parrhesia, Collapse, Paideusis, Symposium, Janus Head, Ozone, and Boundary2. Dr. Biswas Mellamphy’s research focuses on algorithmic governance, net-centricity and the war on terror.
Fields: Political Theory, Warfare & [In]Security Studies, Surveillance & Digitized Governance.
UNA CHUNG (Ph.D. Graduate Center of the City University of New York) is Professor of Media and Global Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. Her work focuses on East Asian and Asian American literature, film, and visual art, contemporary transnational cultural studies, postcolonial theory, ethnic studies, globalization, affect, and new media, and she has written on subjects ranging from spectrality, horror, reincarnation, and contagion. Her past works include “Seeing Spectral Agencies?" in Beyond Biopolitics: Essays on the Governance of Life and Death (Duke 2011); "After-Sight" in the Special Issue of the Journal for Comparative Philosophy; and “Crossing Over Horror: Reincarnation and Transformation” in the Viral Issue of WSQ. Her newest book project is titled Visionary Spaces (forthcoming 2020), which engages visionary experience from ancient Eastern thought to our technologically-mediated forms of seeing in the contemporary world.
Fields: Media Studies, Global Studies, Transnationalism, Ethnic Studies
AMY IRELAND (Ph.D. University of New South Wales) is a writer, theorist, and experimental poet. Her research focuses on questions of agency and technology in modernity, and she is a member of the technomaterialist transfeminist collective Laboria Cuboniks, whose 'Xenofeminist Manifesto' has been translated into seventeen languages. Amy’s work transects disciplinary and formal boundaries, crossing into philosophy, fiction, code, occultism, performance, poetry, and sound. Recent writing can be found in What the Fire Sees (London: Divided Press, 2020); Shanghai Frequencies, Šum Journal 13 (2020); Audint—Unsound:Undead, Goodman, Heys, and Ikoniadou eds. (Falmouth: Urbanomic, 2019); The Xenofeminist Manifesto: A Politics for Alienation (London: Verso, 2018) with Laboria Cuboniks, and Aesthetics After Finitude, Brits, Ireland, and Gibson eds. (Melbourne: re.press, 2016); as well as Carousel Magazine, Art + Australia, e-flux, After Us, Rabbit, Flash Art and various academic journals. She has exhibited and performed work in Australia, the UK, Korea, China, Singapore, Canada, and France, and her performance and poetry work have been included in the 20th Biennale of Sydney and London's Barbican Centre’s 2019 exhibition ‘AI: More than Human’. Amy has been teaching Philosophy, English, and Creative Writing at a tertiary level since 2013.
Fields: Philosophy, Feminism, Poetry, Technology
EDWARD KELLER (Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture) is a designer, professor, writer, musician, multimedia artist, and independent scholar. From 2012-2020 he was the Director of the Center for Transformative Media [CTM] at The New School and from 2009-2020 was Associate Professor at Parsons. Previous academic appointments include Columbia Univ. GSAPP [1998-2010] teaching advanced architectural design graduate studios and seminars, and serving as the acting director of the AAD MS program in 2001; SCIArc 2004-09, where he founded and coordinated the MediaSCAPES program and was fulltime faculty 2007-09; and RPI, UPenn, Pratt, Parsons, FIU and Bennington, variously, between 1996-2010. He has spoken on architecture, film, artificial intelligence, technology and ecology internationally. Recent seminars at Parsons include Post-Planetary Design, Soundscape, and Designing AI. His work and writing has appeared in Volume, &&&, SCHISM, EVOLO, Punctum, Praxis, A+U, AD, Arquine, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Wired, Metropolis, Assemblage, and Ottagono.
Fields: Architecture, Design, Sound/Music Studies
NORA N. KHAN (Harvard University, Iowa Writers' Workshop) is a writer of criticism. She is on the faculty of Rhode Island School of Design, Digital + Media, teaching critical theory, artistic research, writing for artists and designers, and technological criticism. She has two short books: Seeing, Naming, Knowing (The Brooklyn Rail, 2019), on machine vision, and with Steven Warwick, Fear Indexing the X-Files (Primary Information, 2017), on fan forums and conspiracy theories online. Forthcoming this year is The Artificial and the Real, through Art Metropole. This year Khan was an editor of Forces of Art: Perspectives from a Changing World (Valiz), and editor of Casey Reas’ Making Pictures with Generative Adversarial Networks (Anteism Press), supported by Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence Group. She publishes in Art in America, Flash Art, Mousse, 4Columns, Brooklyn Rail, Rhizome, California Sunday, Spike Art, The Village Voice, and Glass Bead. She has written commissioned essays for exhibitions at Serpentine Galleries, Chisenhale, the Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou, Swiss Institute, and Kunstverein in Hamburg. This year, as The Shed’s first guest curator, she organized the exhibition Manual Override. Her writing has been supported by a Critical Writing Grant given through the Visual Arts Foundation and the Crossed Purposes Foundation (2018), an Eyebeam Research Residency (2017), and a Thoma Foundation 2016 Arts Writing Award in Digital Art. Her research and writing practice extends to a large range of artistic collaborations, which include librettos, performances, and exhibition essays, scripts, and a tiny house.
Fields: Visual Art, Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Art Criticism
CARLA LEITÃO (Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture) is an architect, professor, and writer teaching at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Architecture since 2010. Leitao’s studios and seminars explore the intersection of architecture, urban systems, technology, ubiquitous cultures and immersive VR. She is a Co-Founder of AUM Studio and Spec.A and leads vertical studios, seminars and research projects at the CRAIVE Lab (at RPI Tech). Publications include “4 Lines” (Akademie Schloss Solitude) and “City Fragments” (CBA). Published articles include "Navigation: Anticipation and Simultaneity" for "Apomechanes" and "The Future of Measurement" for JA. Currently teaching architecture studios and theory seminars at Pratt Institute School of Architecture and Urban Design and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Architecture School. Exhibitions and installations include “Suture” (SCI Arc and Tellic Gallery, LA) , “True Romance” (Stuttgart, Germany) and "Young Blood" in Lisbon, Portugal. She curated and organized the event “Portugal Now” / Cornell AAP Folio, an exhibition of 20+ Portuguese offices with conferences in Ithaca and NYC .
Fields: Design, Architecture, Urban Systems, Virtual Reality
ANNA LONGO (Ph.D Panthéon-Sorbonne University) is a philosopher. She is a member of Collège International de Philosophie and she has been teaching at University Paris 1 et CalArts. She has been invited keynote speaker in conferences all over the world, she has been contributing to peer reviewed journals and international anthologies. She directed five volumes: Le paradoxe de la finitude (Mimesis 2019), La genèse du transcendantal (The Genesis of the Transcendental) (Mimesis 2017), Breaking the Spell: Speculative Realism under Discussion (Mimesis 2015), Time without Becoming (Mimesis 2014) and Il divenire della conoscenza (Mimesis 2013). Her forthcoming books “the Game of Induction” deals with probabilistic predictive systems based on Bayesian statistical inference. Anna Longo actively collaborates with contemporary visual artists and she is developing a theory of fiction as prophetic technique.
Fields: Philosophy, Rationality, Speculative Theory, Prophecy/Fiction
DEJAN LUKIC (Ph.D. Columbia University) is a Professor at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (IDSVA). He is a scholar and writer with vast teaching experience stemming from arts schools, liberal arts colleges, and research universities, including: Reed College, Rutgers University, The New School, Columbia University, and the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work revolves around the inescapable convergence between art, anthropology, and cultural politics. He has published three books--Phantom Territoriality: Hostage Spaces of the Contemporary World (Bloomsbury, 2013), The Oyster, Or Radial Suppleness (Contra Mundum 2020), and Elemental Disappearances (Punctum Books, 2016), alongside numerous essays on art with some of the most prominent visual artists in the world today. Dr. Lukic is also Founder of the Vitalist Cuisine and Step Not Beyond projects, which are informed by future pedagogies of creativity. He is currently writing a trilogy titled “Emanations" that covers themes of charisma, enchantment, nature, light and shadows, and multi-ontologies.
Fields: Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Visual Art
MICHAEL MARDER (Ph.D. New School University) is Ikerbasque Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. His writings span the fields of phenomenology, political thought, and environmental philosophy. He is the author of fifteen books and over one hundred academic and scientific articles, including Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life (2013); Phenomena—Critique—Logos: The Project of Critical Phenomenology (2014); The Philosopher’s Plant: An Intellectual Herbarium (2014); Pyropolitics: When the World Is Ablaze (2015); Dust (2016); Grafts (2016); with Luce Irigaray, Through Vegetal Being (2016); The Chernobyl Herbarium (2016); Energy Dreams: Of Actuality (2017); Heidegger: Phenomenology, Ecology, Politics (2018); Political Categories: Thinking Beyond Concepts (2019); and the forthcoming Dump Philosophy: A Phenomenology of Devastation (2020), among others. His website is www.michaelmarder.org and his blog, The Philosopher's Plant, is hosted by the LA Review of Books. He is also the Chief Editor of The Philosophical Salon, Co-Founder of The Skin of Things project, and the Editor of four book series including the Future Perfect series (Rowman & Littlefield).
Fields: Environmental Philosophy, Ethical and Political Thought, Phenomenology
DAN MELLAMPHY (Ph.D. York University) is a writer, professor, multimedia-artist and independent-scholar who has been teaching graduate & undergraduate courses in Comparative Culture, Media Studies, World Literature & Civilization, and Interdisciplinary Theory & Criticism at Western University (London·ON). In addition to being one of the founding Faculty Members of the Future Studies Program, he is the co-founder of both The Electro-Governance Group (EGG) and Nietzsche Workshop at Western (NWW), one of the two inaugural Research Fellows of The New School’s Center for Transformative Media (NYC), and editor of The Digital Dionysus: Nietzsche and the Network-Centric Condition (2016). His published works can be found in anthologies such as Marshall McLuhan & Vilém Flusser: Communication & Aesthetic Theories, Revisited (2016), Serial Killing: A Philosophical Anthology (2015), The Imaginary App: MIT Software Studies (2015), The Funambulist Papers (2014), Alchemical Traditions from Antiquity to the Avant-Garde (2013) and Leper Creativity: Essays on the Subject of Cyclonepedia (2012), as well as in journals such as Deleuze Studies, Foucault Studies, Dalhousie French Studies, Parrhesia, CultureMachine, FibreCulture, Paideusis, Platform, Collapse, Continent, Symposium, Janus Head, Modern Drama, Ozone and Boundary2. Dr. Mellamphy’s research focuses on deception, dissimulation, duplicity and doublespeak in their digital and analogue articulation, bringing the history of hidden/hermetic inscriptions (for example, coded alchemical codices and the steganographic encryption of algorithms) to bear upon sub-rosa/subliminally-suggestive language/image-games.
Fields: Comparative Literature (Literary Theory & Criticism), Comparative Cultures (Cultural Anthropology), Media/Communication Studies.
REZA NEGARESTANI is a world-renowned philosopher and writer. He has contributed extensively to journals and anthologies and lectured at numerous international universities and institutes. He directs the Critical Philosophy program at the New Centre for Research and Practice. He is the author of Cyclonopedia (2008), Intelligence and Spirit (2018), Abducting the Outside: Collected Wirings 2003-2018 (2021), and the co-author of Chronosis (2021).
LAURA TRIPALDI is a PhD scholar in Materials Science and Nanotechnology at the University of Milano-Bicocca, where she works on the design of hybrid nanomaterials and the study of their processes of self-assembly for advanced technological applications. Parallel to her academic research, she writes about speculative and philosophical aspects of science and technology, with a particular focus on the concepts of complexity, self-organization, relational ontologies, artificial life, softness, and material interfaces. She is a contributor for several online magazines. Her latest book, Menti Parallele (Parallel Minds) (effequ, 2020), an essay on the intelligence of materials and their entanglement with human minds, will be translated into English and published by Urbanomic Press (2021).
Fields: Nanotechnology, Material Sciences, Medicine, Philosophy of Body/Technology
AND CREATIVE COLLABORATORS
DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS
ZAHRA BONARI is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the Ruhr University Bochum where she is completing a dissertation on ideas of "perfection" in the realms of plastic surgery, mysticism, and women's aesthetics in the Middle East. She oversees all social media content and media development for the Future Studies Program as well as global events, partnerships, and affiliations with other international organizations. She is also a co-author of the Future Cosmos Lab.
PROGRAMMER/AUTHOR, FUTURE STUDIES SERIES
ANDREA CETRULO (B.S. Sociology, University of Barcelona; M.S. Urban Studies, UCL) is an Associate of Program and Content Curation for Theatrum Mundi, and has worked as a researcher for the Global Cultural Districts Network and World Cities Culture Forum. She will moderate and design various Future Studies series (Seven Prophecies of the Future, Venice Biennale 2021) on behalf of the Program which stages encounters with the Future Faculty and outside speakers, artists, and thinkers. She is also a contributing author to the Future Mysticism Lab.
DANNA AL-BANYAN is a graduate student in curatorial studies and a member of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture's Department of Cultural Assets and Centers responsible for the creation of new museums. She is the co-author of the Non-Future Lab.
DAMON BONARI is a process engineer and philosophical writer who focuses on elemental phenomena and mystical thought. He is a co-author of the Future Cosmos Lab.
DANA DAWUD is a philosophical writer and artist who has contributed to multiple magazines and journals across the world, and founder of the Pleasure Helmet podcast. She is a co-author of the Future Body Lab.
CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR / ARTIST
ANNA ENGELHARDT is a media artist and researcher whose main interests are the (de)colonial politics of algorithmic and logistical infrastructures in post-Soviet space. Her recent projects include Machinic Infrastructures of Truth (2021), an inquiry into the production of verification systems presented at Transmediale, and Adversarial Infrastructure (2019), an investigation into the Russian Crimean Bridge, shown at Ars Electronica and 67th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. She is a co-author of the Future X Lab.
CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR / ARTIST
ALI ESLAMI is a Virtual Reality Artist and Practitioner from Iran who has been active and experimenting with VR since 2014. Ali’s work carves new pathways into this emerging medium by developing interactive experiences, driving his practice-led research. The experiences manifest as realities that blur fictional and non-fictional narratives, which strive to articulate possible futures. Ali compliments his process with speculative design and world-building and is ever questioning the restraints of physical space, time, and bodies.
In 2016, his VR project won the IDFA DocLab Award for “Best Immersive non-fiction” and in 2020 the Golden Calf for Best interactive at Nederlands Film Festival (Nerd_Funk). He is the artistic founder of the False Mirror project. Side activities include Co-curator at STRP Festival, Program advisor at IDFA Doclab. He is author of the Future Virtual Lab.
FEDERICO NIETO is currently in the last stage of completing his dissertation to obtain a master’s degree in philosophy at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá. He initially comes from a background in the visual arts but now focuses mainly on late 20th-century philosophy with a focus on the question of "the inhuman". He is a co-author of the Future X Lab.
CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR / ARTIST
SAHEJ RAHAL is a visual artist from Mumbai who has been a recipient of many prestigious international residencies and won the Forbes Award for Debut Solo Show, 2014. His body of work is a growing narrative that draws upon mythical beings, and brings them into a dialogue with the present. Within this narrative, these beings perform absurd acts in derelict corners of the city, transforming them into liminal sites of ritual. The temporal act and its residue become primary motifs in his practice, visible at his website. He is a co-author of the Non-Future Lab.
WILL SCARLETT is a Ph.D. Candidate at the New School University in New York completing a dissertation on experiences of "presence" in virtual immersive realities. He is a co-author of the Future Movement Lab.
SASHA SHESTAKOVA explores material dimensions of non-linear time and situated approach to envisioning otherwise. She is interested in the decolonial approach towards contemporary art in Russia, which she uses to question the colonial power play implied in homogeneous categories like “post-Soviet” and “New East.” She is a co-author of the Future X Lab.
CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR / ARTIST
ASAD KHAN is a computational designer and an architecture researcher en route to a design-led doctorate at the University of Edinburgh. He directs the Entropy Project, an architectural practice that transforms existential risks (X-risks) into existential catastrophes (X-katas), using the epistemic filters of remote-sensing, artificial intelligence, computer simulation and design automation, in order to investigate intelligence as a time-bound self exterminator. The practice offers intelligence, a primordial craft (arkhé-gesture) and a self-reflexive paradigm to realise itself as an exterminator en route to tear apart material-causal concatenations dubbed as sapient humans. The Entropy Project has been exhibited in national and international galleries.explores material dimensions of non-linear time and situated approach to envisioning otherwise. He is a co-author of the non-Future Lab.