CFP: [20th] Fear and Endings (08/31/08; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Susan Cahill and Dr John O'Neill
contact email: 
fearandendings.gmail.com@sas.upenn.edu

FEAR and ENDINGS (08/31/08; collection)

Human apocalyptic anxiety has constantly been felt and expressed over many
centuries. Each generation seems to have its own foci for the imminent
threats that it fears or hopes will destroy it. Our present historical
moment is no exception, and indeed seems to operate profoundly through
discourses of fear and endings.

>From the Christian Right’s expectation of the Rapture to a political
culture governed by terrorist anxiety, the contemporary moment is
experiencing an explicit refocusing and heightening of annihilation fears.

In the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration
of the USSR the threat of nuclear destruction seemed to wane, but our
current political world is one inhabited by dirty bombs, sleeper cells,
surveillance, and the threat of identity theft: climate change and
ecological degradation threaten our physical world.

This collection seeks to examine how our cultural forms engage with the
particular historical moment of the late-twentieth and early twenty-first
centuries. How are our anxieties of destruction encoded in and dealt with
by the stories we tell about and to ourselves in contemporary film and
literature? Recent years have seen the publication of several books on fear
and apocalyptic thinking from sociological and political points of view,
but this volume will be one of the first to address the impact on film and
literature of what has been called a “Climate of Fear”, and to examine
their responses to it.

The editors are particularly interested in essays that focus on the
following themes but are open to any relevant topic or theoretical perspective.

Endings
Apocalypse
Postmodern anxiety
Millennial anxiety
Climate change
Ecological degradation
Post 9/11
Terror
Dirty bombs
Sleeper cells
Surveillance
Identity theft
Paranoia
Reproductive anxiety
Terror sex

Please email abstracts (300-500 words) to the Editors at
fearandendings(_at_)gmail(_dot_)com by 31st August, 2008.

Dr Susan Cahill and Dr John O’Neill, University College Dublin.

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Received on Mon Jun 23 2008 - 13:04:00 EDT

cfp categories: 
twentieth_century_and_beyond