Landscapes of the Future - POLI6810

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module prepares students both to think about the ways in which the landscapes are evolving and being shaped by contemporary developments in technical, scientific, and theoretical fields; and to think about how they want to take part in these developments in their own lives, through professional activity or further study. It will prepare students to think critically about the opportunities and dangers that come with the future, notably through the changes taking place in production techniques (through three-dimensional printing), ecological change and planning, scientific advancements and their impact on the humanities and social sciences (such as quantum theory's challenge to historical studies). By building on bodies of work that have already discussed the potential impact of new technologies and scientific innovations on our understanding of the human, this module will demand intellectual reflection on the potential for change and transformation, with reference to past events and how transformation has occurred to this day. In additional, the module will provide practical guidance on how to think about the student’s own future, whether professionally or for further studies. It will guide students through the possibilities open to them, and give them practical skills to secure an interview and present themselves successfully.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 20
Private study hours: 130
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

CV and Personal Statement (10%)
Mock Interview (10%)
Essay, 3000 words (80%)

Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

• Jane Bennett, Vibrant matter, a political ecology of things. Durham: Duke University Press, 2010.
• William Connolly, Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming. Durham: Duke University Press, 2017.
• Ludwig Feuerbach, Principles of the philosophy of the future. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1986.
• John Haugeland, Artificial Intelligence: the very idea. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1985.
• Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman, Fabricated. The New World of 3D Printing. Indianapolis: John Wiley & sons, 2013.
• Victor McElheny, Drawing the Map of Life. Inside the Human Genome Project. New York: Basic Books, 2012.
• Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schultz, The End of Ownership. Personal Property in the Digital Economy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2016.
• Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 1. The Fault of Epimetheus. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998.
• Alexander Wendt, Quantum Mind and Social Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of key aspects of technical and scientific advancements which are in the process of changing the landscapes of the future.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of how technical and scientific advancements are shaping wider social, cultural, and political landscapes.
3. Show an ability to relate issues of transformation with past historical events and changes.
4. An ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry across disciplinary boundaries.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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