No Future, No Resurrection: Islam, Hauntology, and the Death of Futurism

Society has become increasingly incapable of envisioning new conceptions of the future following the “death of history” with the fall of the Soviet Union. What has followed has been a global dominance of liberal capitalism and a return to nostalgic ideations within futurist thought, as demonstrated by the popularity of films like “Ready Player One,” rather than new means by which to envision the future. This paper will investigate how this sentiment has impacted the tradition of Muslim futurist thought, their conceptualization of Islam’s place many years from now, and how an uptick in Islamophobia in discourse has shifted these ideas to parallel the development of the modern Afrofuturist movement.

The study will broadly take on two modes of investigation. First, research will generate an emic retelling of the history of Muslim futurism and its orientation within the expansive fabric of futurist thought, utilizing interviews with current Muslim artists to gain a more accurate view of its situation and past. The second dimension will be a discussion of postmodern theory (focusing particularly upon Mark Fisher, Jacques Derrida, and Louis Althusser) that concerns the breakdown of futurism as a means for advocacy, and the potential for minority-generated strands of the movement to provide solvency for the broader form’s stagnation.