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12 May 2022

Call for Papers for a Special Issue on Reparative Futures

The journal Futures (ScienceDirect / Elsevier), which aims to build substantive research and knowledge about the relationships between humanity and its possible futures, has published a call for papers for a Special Issue on Reparative Futures to be published in April 2024.

The aim of this Special Issue is to develop conceptual and practical resources for the field of Futures Studies to work with enduring histories of violence and exploitation in ways that challenge injustice and inequality as inevitabilities (Nordstrom, 2004).  This includes working with our ‘thick presents’ (Sandford, 2019) in which past, present and future injustices are embedded in subjectivities, memories and future possibilities. Inspired by the ‘reparative turn’ in the social sciences and humanities (e.g. Bhambra 2021; Táíwò 2021), we welcome contributions that theorise and flesh out critical practices for imagining and building these ‘reparative futures’. These practices are, or will be, characterised by a refusal to use history to confirm dominant identities; by a denial of the necessity or inevitability of the present; by an interest in uncovering contingencies, interconnections and diverse ontologies and experiences; and by a commitment to developing processes and relationships that are capable of turning these histories into quotidian acts of future making.

Futures especially invite papers from activists, creative artists, community practitioners, academics and cultural animators. Papers may approach the theme of reparative futures from a variety of angles, ranging from theoretical or historiographical reflections to analyses of specific episodes, projects or debates.  Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following areas of inquiry:

  • Reparative processes: What characterises reparative processes and how are these brought into practices of future-making. For example, what kinds of pedagogies facilitate reparative modes of address? What methods of archiving enable interaction with pasts that demand restitution and repair? How are activists, artists and community groups making reparative claims and mobilising them towards more just futures?
  • Reparative relationships: How are historical traumas variously transmitted, translated, or repaired between generations? How can reparative relationships both recognise existing subjectivities but also facilitate an openness towards new ways of being and worlding? What kinds of memory-practices, collective and individual, recognise unequal inheritances of the past and foster reparative futures?
  • Reparative temporalities and spaces: How are reparative futures struggled over in specific times and places? What temporal and material concepts and conditions are involved in the political instantiations of reparative futures; their working out in institutions, sites, milieus and historical moments?

Submission instructions:

  • Expressions of interest should be in the form of an abstract (200-300 words) and should be emailed to Dr David Nally  by 30 June 2022 for informal feedback.
  • Full papers to be submitted to the Futures manuscript submission portal by 15 January 2023
  • All papers will undergo a double blind peer review process.
  • Please be sure to read the journal’s aims, scope and guide for authors:
  • Individual papers will be published online first as soon as they are ready. The complete Special Issue will be published in April 2024.


  • Julia Paulson (University of Bristol)
  • Kevin Myers (University of Birmingham)
  • David Nally (University of Cambridge)
  • Arathi Sriprakash (University of Bristol)


Nordstrom, C. 2004. ‘The Tomorrow of Violence’, pp.223-242 in Neil L. Whitehead ed. Violence (Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.

Sandford, R. 2019. Thinking with heritage: Past and present in lived futures, Futures, Volume 111, 71-80

Bhambra, G. 2021. For a Reparatory Social Science. Presentation at the London School of Economics, 26 May 2021

Táíwò, O. 2021. Reconsidering Reparations. Philosophy of Race. Oxford: Oxford University Press

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