Cfp_7th Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop, 31 May – 2 June (#IMSW2023).

[Cfp_7th Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop, 31 May – 2 June, more info: ]

Dear Colleague   It is our great pleasure to invite you to the 7th Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop, 31 May – 2 June (#IMSW2023). In 2023, IMSW comes to the University of Edinburgh Business School and will be hosted for the first time in collaboration with the Journal of Cultural Economy.

The concept of ‘futures’ is often mobilised as an interdisciplinary frame for the urgent, stubborn or ‘wicked’ problems surrounding, for example, global public health, climate emergency, geopolitical instability, rising wealth inequalities, technopopulism and more, that are characteristic of the twenty-first century. In the academy ‘futures’ indexes a range of critical, empirical, methodological and increasingly, institutional, responses to these problems. The University of Edinburgh recently launched the Edinburgh Futures Institute, which in 2023 will take up residence in the comprehensively renovated, Scottish baronial pile that formerly housed the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. We draw on this broad conceptual, material and administrative architecture of futures thinking to invite reflections on the role the future plays in planning, projecting, modelling, imagining, designing, making, maintaining, promising, casting and forecasting markets.   The future is often an implicit theme in the study of markets. Empirically, markets are devised, designed and organised with the purposive orchestration of future action in mind (McFall, 2014). The devices of markets are performative only if they produce intended outcomes (Callon, 2021; Muniesa, Millo and Callon 2007). When Michel Callon and Koray Caliskan (2010) remarked that ‘markets have a history but they also have a future that cannot be reduced simply to an extrapolation of the past’ they meant to signal the scholarly responsibility to not only observe, but participate in, the design and transformation of future markets, economies and societies. As Mouritsen and Kreiner (2016) aptly put it, this shift in emphasis towards the future is not to suggest that we live in a ‘future perfect where the future would be in the present” but ‘because the future inspires or obliges current action.’   There has also been an emphasis on theorising the role played by ‘imagination’ and ‘promissory’ rhetorics in modern marketplaces. Scholars have noted ‘the promissory character of contemporary capitalism’ and the ‘political economy of hope’ (Martin, 2015). Beckert (2016) contends that the future – and ‘fictional expectations’ – are crucial to the dynamism of contemporary capitalist economies. In the face of (Knightian) uncertainties, where the usual calculative processes are stymied, it is these fictional expectations that motivate actors like investors and entrepreneurs by provoking ‘animal spirits.’ Similarly, Zaloom (2009) argues that all ‘contemporary economic knowledge’ is organised around the interplay of ‘perturbation or excitement’ about the future.   In parallel, scholars have described the ‘feverish anticipation, expectations and hope’ that surround the ‘(over)investment’ in markets (Geiger and Gross 2017) that have characterized many governmental efforts to solve social and collective problems (Neyland, Ehrenstein and Milyaeva 2019).   Understanding and addressing how markets ‘see’ the future is urgent in an era where the dominance of big data and giant tech companies has upended the historical and spatial logics of urban life (Fourcade and Healy, 2017; Burrell and Fourcade, 2021; Zukin 2021). Cities across the globe stake their futures on the design of ‘“innovation complexes’ composed of elaborate public-private partnership mechanisms working across ‘discursive, organizational, and geographical spaces’ (Zukin, 2020). Accelerated by the pandemic, the spatial patterns of retail, finance, work and leisure, have dramatically altered in the last decade, creating new challenges of planning, projecting and financing the future.     Call for papers     We invite the submission of extended abstracts (2 – 3 pages). Your extended abstract should be submitted electronically no later than  27 January 2023.  

Keynote speakers announced     We are delighted to have confirmed our keynote speakers: Professor Sharon Zukin, Dr Lana Swartz, Professor Michel Callon (in conversation with Koray Caliskan), and Professor Pierre-Benoît Joly.

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