Joseph Campana


Investing in Futures is a framework designed to help you creatively imagine worlds and what it would be like to live in them. The heart of the framework is a series of themed playing card decks that you can use as a starting point for worldbuilding.

Why play? Investing in Futures questions the inevitability of a single vision of the future, asking you to work backward from a vision that might seem unlikely, wild, impossible or impractical. With that in mind, we encourage you to imagine worlds you want to live in. We hope that by imagining these futures, you practice participating in the ever-changing circumstances of the world, better understand the relationship between personal experiences and global systems, and bring something back to the present through your acts of playful worldbuilding.

Joseph Campana is a poet, arts writer and scholar of the literature and culture of Renaissance Europe, at a time of climatic instability many refer to as the Little Ice Age. Recent projects consider early modern understandings of biodiversity, personhood, scale, affect, waste and other concerns refracted through a range of arts and media, from poetry and theater to political theory and natural history. Current projects include two monographs in progress, “Living Figures: Person and Populace in Early Modernity” and “Scales of Nature: Thinking With Bees in the Renaissance.” Campana serves as the William Shakespeare Professor of English, the director of the Center for Environmental Studies, the co-director of the environmental studies minor, a governing board member of the Rice Sustainability Institute and a co-PI on the Mellon Foundation-funded Diluvial Houston grant.

De Lange Conference


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