Thinking with the End(s) of Worlds

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Apocalyptica / Käte Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies (Heidelberg University)

Call for Papers

Apocalyptica is an interdisciplinary, international, double-blind peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Käte Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies (CAPAS) at Heidelberg University. The journal publishes incisive analyses and diverse perspectives regarding the end of worlds.

We are seeking submissions that actively explore the apocalypse as a forceful figure of thought in order to grapple with the historical experiences, present confrontations, and future possibilities of (up)ending worlds.

Article length: 8,000-9,000 words

Deadline: 15 November 2021 

Contact: publications@capas.uni-heidelberg.de

 

Thinking with the End(s) of Worlds

As anthropogenic climate change, increasingly polarized politics, and accelerated nuclear arms races signal the imminence of disaster and catastrophe around the world, the idea of the apocalypse is gaining traction in popular and scholarly discourses. The unprecedented trials of the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing capitalist expansionism, unrestrained resource extraction, imperial warfare and militarism, technocratic governance, escalating surveillance, sustained exploitation of indigenous people(s) and land, rising nationalism, mounting social inequality, fears about global mobilities, aggressive risk management, and, of course, the exacerbation of gendered, raced, colonial and environmental violence in the face of these challenges give rise to new considerations of what it meant and means to live through the end of the world or ‘in the end times’, as Slavoj Žižek has aptly put it. 

The troubling prospects of apocalyptic upheaval are conversely met (and productively troubled) by new social justice movements, innovative media narratives and storytelling practices, evocative artworks, original political debates and new socio-economic discourses that put forward speculative imaginations, deconstructive epistemologies and novel ways of conceiving ‘the end’. In these views, apocalypses and their envisioned aftermaths (also) produce emancipatory and creative potentials that engage with the possibility of plural worlds, embodied futurities, non-linear temporalities and radical difference as they are increasingly reflected in the invocation of haunting sensibilities, experimental imaginaries or lived experience that employ the un/making of worlds.

Beyond notions of redemption or more traditional theological approaches to the end of the world, we ask: What experiences inspire apocalyptic thinking? What movements, politics, ideas, geographies, sensibilities, stories, and images might be considered (post-)apocalyptic or invoke debates and feelings about the end of the/a world? How do apocalypses entangle temporalities of past, present, and future? How do crisis and catastrophe shape human and non-human actors and their relationships? What are we to make of the concepts of ‘world’, ‘worlds’ and ‘worlding’ or, indeed, ‘the end’ and its ‘aftermath(s)’? And, how does the apocalypse as an idea help us to address escalating global as well as local challenges which (also) articulate the promise of diverse futures and (perhaps) more just, alternative collectivities?

We welcome submissions from a broad range of fields in order to champion the imaginative and (potentially) transformative force of thinking with and through the (post-)apocalypse.

Possible contributions might examine the apocalypse in relation to the following themes (but are not limited to this list):

  • Anthropogenic climate change 
  • Nationalism and colonialism
  • Race, gender and sexuality
  • Social and ecological in/justice 
  • Apocalyptic temporalities (decentered futurisms, empirical histories, alternative memories)
  • Ghosts and haunting
  • Collective political imaginaries and resistance movements
  • Embodied experiences (viscerality, affect, sensibility, survival)
  • Dystopia and utopia
  • Cultural imaginaries, narratives, and practices (film, TV, literature, music, comics, video games, art, theatre, photography)
  • Animal studies and ecocriticism
  • Architecture and landscape (including social relations to the environment)
  • White supremacy and right-wing politics
  • Algorithmic governance (digital cultures, social media, surveillance) 
  • Securitization and nuclear warfare
  • Border politics and global mobilities
  • Pandemics and epidemics
  • Epistemologies of the apocalypse (philosophy, theology, anthropology)
  • Conceptualizing the ‘end’ of ‘worlds’ (scope, universality, and plurality)

Please submit your article (about 8,000-9,000 words) including an abstract (250 words) and a short bio by 15 November 2021 to publications@capas.uni-heidelberg.de.  

Further information: https://capas.pubpub.org

https://www.capas.uni-heidelberg.de/index.en.html  

 

***Please circulate in your respective networks