Future History: How the twentieth century imagined an “other world”

Ιωάννα Λαλιώτου (Ioanna Laliotou)


Ιωάννα Λαλιώτου (Ioanna Laliotou)
Associate Professor of Contemporary History, University of Thessaly


I was drawn to this study by questions that concern the future in history. What was the role that the “future” played in critical thought, fantasy and human historical experiences during the first half of the twentieth century? Can we reconstruct the history of the future in past tense? Can we use the methods of cultural history in order to trace the emergence of people’s ideas, images and emotions about the future in their intellectual and historical contexts? How did the “future” change in the past and how these transformations relate to overall social, political and cultural developments? And vice versa, what was the impact of the transformations of the “future” in historical becomings?

The book traces the “future” in related literature and in diverse fields of cultural production and demonstrates on the one hand the intensification of engagements with the “future” in the work of intellectuals, cultural producers and scientists during the first half of the twentieth century and on the other the centrality of the notions of globality and cosmos in the formation of futurist imaginary during the same period.


Ioanna Laliotou was born in Athens, Greece in 1969. She studied History at the University of Athens (BA), Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK (MA) and History at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (Ph.D.). She is author of Transatlantic Subjects. Acts of Migration and Cultures of Transnationalism between Greece and America (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2004) and co-author with Luisa Passerini, Enrica Capussotti and Dawn Lyon of the collective book Women Migrants from East to West: Gender, Mobility and Belonging in Contemporary Europe (London: Berghahn, 2007). She has conducted research as a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University and New York University and as a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Columbia University. She has also taught as a Visiting Associate Professor at Columbia University. Today she is Associate Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Thessaly. She teaches, thinks and writes about issues related to the history of mobility, intercultural relations, gendered, racial and ethnic aspects of contemporary cultural production, history of subjectivity, and critical and cultural theory.

Cover for Future History: How the twentieth century imagined an “other world”

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Co-publisher's ISBN-13 (24)