We have grown accustomed to the near-constant invocation of “crisis” as part of our everyday media consumption. During periods of insecurity, historically contingent crisis imaginaries tend to evolve, linking developments in the historical present to cultural memories of a fearful past and visions of an unwanted future. A historical understanding of these imaginaries, along with their societal and material aftermath—including their impact in relation to political choice and decision-making—is imperative for the history of technology. This article aims to problematize the complex relationship between crisis imaginaries and technological futures acknowledging the triple temporality of crises. In order to shed light on the rich potential of historical research into the entanglements of past- and future-oriented crisis narratives, we exemplify this approach in three empirical research themes: security and the experience of past and future; fears as drivers of technological development; political decision-making and the future of space mining.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 272-281
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.