Apocalyptic discourse in contemporary culture: post-millennial perspectives on the end of the world

Monica Germana (Editor), Aristeidis Mousoutzanis (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

Abstract

This interdisciplinary collection of essays focuses on critical and theoretical responses to the apocalypse of the late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century cultural production. Whereas the vast majority of existing critical projects on the subject have a specific theoretical orientation, historical, textual or genre-based, this proposed collection promises to offer a dynamic combination of theoretical speculation, textual analysis and historicisation both within individual chapters and the four sections that focus on four crucial areas of investigation: theory, space, time, and language. Examining the ways in which apocalyptic discourses have had an impact on how we read the world’s globalised space, the traumatic burden of history, and the mutual relationship between language and eschatological belief, fifteen original essays by a group of internationally established and emerging critics reflect on the apocalypse, its past tradition, pervasive present and future legacy. The collection seeks to offer a new reading of the apocalypse, understood as a complex – and, frequently, paradoxical – paradigm of (contemporary) Western culture. The majority of published collections on the subject have been published prior to the year 2000 and, in their majority of cases, locate the apocalypse in the future and envision it as something imminent. This collection offers a post-millennial perspective that perceives ‘the end’ as immanent and, simultaneously, rooted in the past tradition – the section on ‘Time’ focuses precisely on the problematic tension between past and future apocalypses. Furthermore, the collection develops from existing theoretical tendencies that approach apocalyptic fictions as fantastic displacements of contemporary social, cultural and political anxieties; concurrently, the collection’s section on ‘theory’ approaches the apocalypse as a theoretical, methodological concept that can be used to interpret and analyse modernity itself. The volume thus points to the ways in which the apocalypse is spatialised and mapped across urban, virtual, and global spaces: as the section on ‘language’ proposes, ultimately the ‘end’ is embedded in the very structures that make up the symbolic.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Number of pages244
ISBN (Electronic)9781134667543
ISBN (Print)9780415712583
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2014

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