This volume provides the essential vocabulary currently employed in discourses on the future in 50 contributions by renowned scholars in their respective fields, which examine future imaginaries across cultures and time. Not situated in the field of "futurology" proper, it comes at future studies 'sideways' and offers a multidisciplinary treatment of a critical futures' vocabulary. The contributors have their disciplinary homes in a wide range of subjects - history, cultural studies, literary studies, sociology, media studies, American studies, Japanese studies, Chinese studies, and philosophy - and critically illuminate numerous discourses about the future (or futures), past and present. In compiling such a critical vocabulary, this book seeks to foster conversations about futures in study programs and research forums and offers a toolbox for discussing them with an adequate degree of complexity. XVII, 347 p.