About

‘Visions of the Future’ is a small project put together by:

Dr William Tullett, Associate Professor in History at Anglia Ruskin University

Dr Hannah Murray, Lecturer in American Literature, University of Liverpool

Dr Ruth Morgan, Associate Professor of Environmental History, The Australian National University

This project was funded by a British Academy Knowledge Frontiers forum grant, KFASF\100006.

Daniel James and Maya Kerslake, BA English Literature students at the University of Liverpool, provided invaluable research assistance in cataloguing and categorising the material. Their work was funded by the University of Liverpool Undergraduate Research Scheme.

‘How have past cultures envisioned the future and how has this influenced our view of the future today?’ This project thinks through this question by tracing visions of the future from Britain, America, and Australia in visual culture from 1800-1914. This website contains three key remediations of the images that we collected:

▪ An ‘A-Z’ of key themes that anxieties, preoccupations, and predictions that emerge from the images. Here we ask visitors to consider: which preoccupations do we share today and how far have nineteenth-century predictions become our own presents or futures?

▪ A set of ‘RESPONSES’, from arts and creative practice students that were prompted by engaging with the images that we collected. Here we encourage visitors to consider: what tools and media are available today for envisioning the future and how do the tools we use determine the boundaries of the futures that we can imagine?

▪ A ‘RANDOMISER’ which, when clicked on, randomly throws up one of the images from the collection that we have put together as part of this project. We intend this randomiser to serve a range of functions, for example as a creative prompt or pedagogical resource. However, the key question we would like users to ponder is this: what are the similarities and differences in these visions of the future and do those patterns remain the same today?

We have also put together a ‘RESOURCE LIST’ of all the images that we collected.

We hope that you enjoy browsing this site, which is a record of research in progress for a book on the topic of ‘Visions of the Future’ that the authors are currently working on.

If you want to get in touch us about this project, you can email william.tullett@aru.ac.uk .