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Rachel Horst

Rachel is a PhD candidate in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia.

She takes an arts integrated approach to qualitative research and scholarship investigating digital literacies, educational technologies, and futures literacies pedagogy and research practice.

Guided by a posthumanist onto-epistemological perspective her work cultivates speculative educational futures, writing-as-becoming, and narrative futuring for creating and performing possibility.

some interests

                        futures literacies

                        arts-based research methodologies

                        digital arts-based research

                        creative writing

                        speculative narrative


                        makerspace technologies


                        experimental data representation

                        sonic fiction

                        new media arts research

                        futures literacies pedagogy

                        educational technologies 

                        online learning

                        new materialism 


                        decolonial and antiracist pedagogy

                        21st century literacies

                        multimodal literacy practices

                        creative computational thinking

                        electronic fiction 

                        narrative games


Horst, R. (2022). The Unadorned. In D. Conrad and S. Wiebe (Eds.), Education Fabulations. Palgrave.

Horst, R. & Gladwin, D., (2022). Multiple futures literacies: An interdisciplinary review. Journal of Literacy and Pedagogy. DOI: 10.1080/15505170.2022.2094510

Horst, R., James, K., Takeda, Y., Morales, E., & Yung, E. (forthcoming). Sounding the futures imaginary: A collaborative intra-modal storying methodology. Journal of Artistic Research.

Gladwin, D., Horst, R., James, K., & Sameshima, P. (2022). Imagining Futures Literacies: A Collaborative Practice. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 22(7).

Horst, R. (forthcoming). Writing the unwritable: Sebald and Haraway and hope through disobedience. In T. Strong-Wilson, A. Yoder, W. Crichlow, & R. Castro (Eds.) Unsettling Complacency: Hope and ethical responsibility. Palgrave.

Horst, R. (2021). Narrative futuring: An experimental writing inquiry into the future imaginaries. Art/Research International, 6(1), 32–55.

Horst, R. (2021). The Treachery of Materiality: On what it’s like to be a thing. Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, 37.

James, K., Horst, R., Takeda, Y. P., & Morales, E. (2021). The Patch: An Artful Syn(aes)thetic Mapping Of Linguistic Data Through Collaborative Digital / Analogue Literacy Processes. McGill Journal of Education / Revue Des Sciences De l’éducation De McGill, 55(3). Retrieved from

James, K., Morales, E., Horst, R., and Young, E. (2021). Text sonification and the literacoustics of language-to-MIDI. In A. Klobucar (Ed.), The Community and the Algorithm (pp. 101-126). Vernon Press.

Morales, E., James, K., Horst, R., Takeda, Y., & Yung, E. (2021, June 25-28). The sound of our words: Singling, a textual sonification software [Conference paper]. The 26th International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD). Online Conference.

Horst, R., James, K., Takeda, Y., & Rowluck, W. (2020). From play to creative extrapolation: Fostering emergent computational thinking in the makerspace. Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability, 15(5), 40-54. 

Futures Literacies

Writing the futures imaginary: A digital arts-based inquiry into the futures literacies of teacher candidates


This digital arts-based research project takes up futures literacies among teacher candidates in two complementary senses: futures as literacies, and the ways in which future possibility can become a focal point of our literacy practices, and the futures of literacies, and the likely increase of digitally saturated communicative practices and platforms. In this study, I will investigate how a group of teacher candidates express their futures literacies through digital writing in a web-based environment. Through a series of interactive writing prompts, this study will provoke creative engagement with the futures imaginary and inspire teacher candidates to (re)story their futures perspectives while simultaneously engaging in generative digital literacies practices.


Education has always been future-oriented— young people today acquire the skills and knowledge they will put into practice tomorrow. However, students have begun to feel a disconnect between what they are learning in classrooms and the possible futures that fill their news feeds and popular media platforms. Several existential catastrophes darken our futures imaginary: environmental degradation, global warming, the unintended and possibly catastrophic consequences of technological proliferation to name but a few. Educators have the difficult task of ushering young people into an inherited reality that is characterized by these undeniable problems, while simultaneously providing young people with opportunities to cultivate their creative agency to have a positive impact, as well as the 21st century literacies they will need to imagine, enact, and communicate their stories of change. Yet educators themselves are surrounded by an onslaught of troubling future images. Educators’ implicit futures consciousness, comprised of their hopes, fears, concerns, and anxieties about the future, will necessarily infuse their own literacy practices and pedagogies. Futures literacies is a proposed curricular intervention that is aimed at explicitly foregrounding the future imaginary in literacies practices and pedagogy with the intention of increasing both educators’ and students’ agency, resiliency, and creative capacity for meaning making in the face of change and uncertainty.


I take up this work within a posthumanist theoretical perspective that is an invitation to decenter the human from our inquiry practices and instead cultivate interest, curiosity, and relational empathy for the multitude of other-than-human collaborators and inheritors of our mutually entangled future present. A posthuman ontology has infused the design of the digital writing prompts and will guide the arts-based analysis of the data. I hope this research will contribute innovative curricular interventions that may be taken up and expanded upon in both futures and multiliteracies research and discourse. Additionally, I offer the digital writing prompts, website, and a futures literacies curriculum package to teacher candidates for use in their own practices, in gratitude for their future work as agents of positive and proliferating change.