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Dark Economies: Anxious Futures, Fearful Past
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7/8/2020 to 7/10/2020
When: Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Where: Falmouth University
Falmouth and Penryn, Cornwall 
United Kingdom
Contact: Falmouth University

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After the success of the Folk Horror in the Twenty First Century conference, Falmouth University is holding another related conference in 2020 on July 8–10,2020.

The present is dark. With the rise of right-wing populism, global migrations and immigrations, continued violence, abuse and crime, prejudice and intolerance, there is increasing anxiety about the future. The Earth itself is under threat from environmental catastrophe and a mass extinction event is anticipated. The collapse of society, morality, and the environment was often also feared in the past, particularly in Gothic, horror and dystopian fictions and texts. What were the monsters of the past? What are our monsters now?

Anxieties and uncertainties abound in the age of the post-human and the post-digital. Ours is a world with the dark web and past and present dark economies. Yet, there is radicalism and light here too as boundaries are traversed, subverted and annihilated. Gender binaries are collapsing. The old patriarchal order is at least seriously under threat (if not yet quite dead) in the light of movements such as #MeToo, #TimesUp, Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ+ wave of positivity. Capitalism is shaking and activism is reshaping the world.

This conference addresses these issues head on. By encouraging provocative, radical and respectful discussions, the conference aims to generate serious interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary engagements with scholars, practitioners, artists, and activists. The conference will look back to the past in its examination of how dark concerns and anxieties were envisioned, and to the future and the visionary imaginings of how things can be. The debates will range from the local to the global. While the conversations will be transnational, the setting for the conference will be Cornwall, UK. Historically associated with pirates, piskies, and general lawlessness, Cornwall is a Celtic fringe that literally hangs off the end of England. With sublime landscapes, surging seas and deep mines, Cornwall is made up of black granite and makes the perfect backdrop for a conference on dark economies.

Proposals for presenting at the conference will be accepted until February 2, 2020. For more information, see the AFS Review

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