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LiNQ, vol. 41 - Apocalypse
full name / name of organization:
James Cook University (Australia)
Scenarios for the apocalypse seem to proliferate in popular culture. John R. Hall believes that numerous examples suggest that “an apocalyptic mood is no longer confined to cultures of religious fundamentalism” but is also demonstrated in “diverse mainstream apocalyptic references” (1). In the media, the apocalypse generates news headlines; in October 2013, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that scientists had found “evidence of an apocalypse on a planetary system similar to our own” (von Radowitz). In 2012, the belief that the end of the Mayan calendar on 21 December would mean the end of the world triggered thousands of blog posts. A poll of 16,000 adults showed 8 per cent suffered genuine anxiety that the world would end on that day. Nonfiction texts, such as The World Without Us (Weisman 2007) and The World in 2050 (Smith 2010) use current scientific data to project future scenarios that show civilizations crumbling and the climate radically altered as a result of global warming. The welter of recent TV series, movies and books depicting fictional versions of the apocalypse — Revolution (2012), Melancholia (2010), Defiance (2013), The Hunger Games (2008, 2013), War of the Worlds (2005), Tomorrow When the War Began (1993, 2012), I Am Legend (2007),The Road (2006, 2009), Oryx and Crake (2003), and even a children’s film, Wall-e (2005)—reveal a renewed fascination with images of the end of the world.
Many of these visions of the apocalypse feature supernatural creatures, most notably zombies, including The Walking Dead (2010), World War Z (2006, 2013), The Zombie Survival Guide(2003), 48 Days Later (2002) and its sequel 48 Weeks Later (2007), Resident Evil (2002), Horde (2009), Stake Land (2010), Planet Terror (2007), The Zombie Diaries (2006), The Dead Outside (2008), Carriers (2009), and Dawn of the Dead (2004). Satirical responses to scenarios of the apocalypse, such as The World’s End (2013), and particularly those featuring zombies, such as Zombieland (2009) and Shaun of the Dead (2004), seem to imply that such visions of the future are subjects for ridicule. However, sociologists are increasingly interested in zombie studies; Todd K Platt argues that zombie books, games and films “can be seen as significant cultural objects that reflect and reveal the cultural and material circumstances of their creation” (547). Platt (ibid) believes that it’s no coincidence that zombie narratives “should witness a resurgence in popularity after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the anthrax and SARS scares, and Hurricane Katrina.” So, while eschatology is as ancient as the Bible, what do contemporary visions of the apocalypse reveal about our specific social anxieties and attitudes towards the future? How have fears of disease, global warming, and loss of community through globalisation inflected representations of the apocalypse?
This special issue of LiNQ invites contributors to investigate the symbolism of the apocalypse. The word ‘apocalypse’ derives from the Greek word for ‘revelation.’ What do representations of the apocalypse reveal about and to contemporary culture? As LiNQ is a journal based in regional tropical North Queensland with a global reach and a 42-year history, the editors are particularly interested in how regional imaginaries of the apocalypse are different to urban ones. We call for academic articles and creative submissions (fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, and poems) that explore visions of the apocalypse on a personal, cultural, or global level:
• How can the apocalypse be understood? As a parable, past event, prophecy or the natural end to human history?
Instructions for authors
Submissions should be no longer than 6000 words. Please identify whether your work is fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry or an article for peer review. Include a brief abstract of the article or creative submission (no more than 75 words) and a 50-word biographical note.
Submissions close June 30 2014 for our December 2014 issue. NOW EXTENDED UNTIL JULY 31 2014 FOR SCHOLARLY SUBMISSIONS.
Eduardo Marks de Marques will be our guest editor for the scholarly section of this issue.