An International Symposium at Europa-Universität Flensburg | May 16-17, 2022

Registration Deadline: May 1, 2022

Designs of Tomorrow: Indigenous Futurities in Literature and Culture

An International Symposium at Europa-Universität Flensburg, May 16-17, 2022

Conference website:

The conference will be on-site/in person, everyone interested is welcome. Please register by May 1, 2022 via

When we are in the throes of major crises, from the global pandemic to a pending climate apocalypse, thinking about a different tomorrow may feel impossible. Designing alternative futures has become one of the central cultural tasks of the twenty-first century, and Indigenous North American writers, visual artists, curators, comedians, film makers, video game designers, and web developers are at the forefront of this movement. From pre-contact stories to contemporary science fiction, Indigenous cultures abound with visions of the future as sites of “survivance” (Gerald Vizenor). While settler colonialist imaginaries of progress have, for the longest time, strategically displaced Native cultures into a fixed, containable past, Indigenous literatures and cultures not only successfully defy these mechanisms of Othering but offer sustainable variants of futurity in powerful networks of transnational exchange. This symposium brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars from Canada, Europe, and the United States in order to explore representations of a coming world in Indigenous fiction, drama, film, visual arts and digital media, social networks, museums, and performance spaces. We hope to initiate long-standing transnational dialogues on futurity and alternative versions of tomorrow that may serve as exemplary sites of empowering cultural diversity and non-Western systems of knowledge in the interest of economic, ecological, and social sustainability.

Speakers include (in alphabetical order): heather ahtone (First Americans Museum, Oklahoma City), Laura Castor (Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø), Diane Glancy (em., Macalester College), Ellen-Marie Jensen (Sámi University of Applied Sciences, Norway), Stephen Graham Jones (University of Colorado), Jason Lewis (Indigenous Futures Research Center, Concordia University, Montréal), Hartmut Lutz (em., University of Greifswald; Royal Society of Canada), Gesa Mackenthun (University of Rostock), Deborah Madsen (University of Geneva), Ute Marxreiter (Ethnologisches Museum Berlin), Sabine N. Meyer (University of Bonn), Randy Reinholz (San Diego State University; Native Voices at the Autry), Ryan Singer (Albuquerque), and Gerald Vizenor (em., University of California, Berkeley).

Organizers: Kristina Sülter ( and Birgit Däwes ( We gratefully acknowledge the generous support by the German Research Foundation / Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and Europa-Universität Flensburg.