Can You Imagine a Future That Isn't "Disposable"?

By Brad Evans and Henry A Giroux, Truthout | Series
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Disposable Futures(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)As the 21st century tumbles forward, ever more individuals and groups are now considered "excess" by the onslaught of global forces that no longer offer the possibility of alternative futures. This politics of "disposability" can be seen in the rising numbers of homeless, the growing army of debt-ridden students, those lacking basic necessities amid widening income disparities, the surveillance of immigrants, the school-to-prison pipeline and the destruction of the middle class. But we cannot discuss the disposability of lives without critiquing its lasting implications. In fact, what makes the contemporary forms of disposability so abhorrent is precisely the way they systematically produce disposable futures. Can we imagine a different future?

The Histories of Violence project is now partnering with Truthout to pursue that question, by creating a forum for broader discussion on the theme of "disposable futures." This is not simply an attempt to add layer upon layer of analysis to reaffirm what we already know about our tragic and catastrophically fated world. Instead, we are looking to encourage new forms of political intervention – whether those come in the form of critiques of our collective future or ideas for transformation. We invite contributions from public intellectuals, students, artists, poets, writers, social activists and scholars from whatever discipline, utilizing a broad array of media. Our aim is to reclaim the idea that it is possible to transform the world for the better. Join us!

Submission Guidelines: All submissions must be sent directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the title: "SUBMISSION Disposable Life: (followed by article and author name)" in the email subject line. Full submission guidelines available here.

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Henry A Giroux

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. His most recent books include:  On Critical Pedagogy (Continuum, 2011), Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Publics in the Age of Disposability (Paradigm 2012), Disposable Youth: Racialized Memories and the Culture of Cruelty (Routledge 2012), Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future (Paradigm 2013), and The Educational Deficit and the War on Youth (Monthly Review Press, 2013), America's Disimagination Machine (City Lights) and Higher Education After Neoliberalism (Haymarket) will be published in 2014). Giroux is also a member of Truthout's Board of Directors. His web site is Truthout readers receive a 30% discount by clicking the link and inserting the Code: TOGIR (please note that this code is cap-sensitive) on the following books: Youth in Revolt: Reclaiming a Democratic Future, March 2013; The Twilight of the Social: Resurgent Politics in an Age of Disposability, April 2012; Hearts of Darkness: Torturing Children in the War on Terror, August 2010; Politics After Hope: Obama and the Crisis of Youth, Race, and Democracy, April 2010; and The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex, June 2007.

Brad Evans

Brad Evans is a senior lecturer in international relations at the School of Sociology, Politics & International Studies (SPAIS), University of Bristol, UK. He is the founder and director of the histories of violence project. In this capacity, he is currently leading a global research initiative on the theme of “Disposable Life” to interrogate the meaning of mass violence in the 21st Century.  Brad’s latest books include Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously (with Julian Reid, Polity Press, 2014), Liberal Terror (Polity Press, 2013) and Deleuze & Fascism (with Julian Reid, Routledge, 2013). He is currently working on a number of book projects, including Disposable Futures: Violence in the Age of the Spectacle (with Henry Giroux, forthcoming, City Lights: 2015) and Histories of Violence: An Introduction to Post-War Critical Thought (with Terrell Carver, Zed Books, 2015).

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