Apocalypse Literature Panel, American Literature Association (May 26-29, 2011)
Apocalypse, post-apocalypse, atomic and nuclear narratives have increasingly shifted from the science fiction genre to pervade American literature as a whole. Authors such as Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo and Cormac McCarthy, among others, consider historical or imagined catastrophes that usher in new sensibilities, while simultaneously shattering connections to the past. Traditionally, apocalypse narratives attempt to assert order and coherence where none previously existed. Does apocalypse literature still presume control over disaster? What has apocalypse literature come to signify in the U.S.? What does apocalypse literature offer? How have imagined or real endings come to be portrayed in American literature?
This panel seeks papers pertaining to any variation of apocalypse literature as it appears in nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century American literature. Papers are welcome that explore specific authors and novels, or examine theoretical and critical approaches to apocalypse literature. Please submit an abstract of 250 words to Amanda Wicks at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15, 2010.