Apocalyptic Ageing: Representations of Old Age at the End of the World (As we know it) in Literature and Popular Culture

deadline for submissions: 
August 30, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Katarzyna Bronk-Bacon and Simon Bacon
contact email: 

PUBLICATION: Edited Collection of Essays

P.D. James' runaways from the Children of men, who wish to protect the last-first-baby conceived and born in an infertile world heading towards an apocalypse, tap into many contemporary anxieties of modern states about the (non)symbiotic ageing of the Earth, its resources and its inhabitants. The idea and the motif of the world coming to an end continues to haunt literary and cinematic minds with the entropic dreams of progressive conclusions or one brutal terminus. What happens to the institutions, idea(l)s and values of the past in a reality that requires total redefinitions of the world and the humankind itself. And, most importantly for this prospective publication, who is to lead the end or initiate the beginning.

Will the plans for the end or the commencement of a new reality acknowledge the value of older individuals (and ideas from the past) or do apocalypses or blueprints for a potential future belong to the new/young generations. Is the intersectional category of age important for the fiction, paraliterature, cinematography, dramatic arts, games and other artistic media and platforms (re-)imagining the ends and post-apocalyptic geneses?

Ideas and motifs to ponder upon:

  • Ageing and rites of passage in apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic narratives
  • Old age and its stereotypes at the end of the world (as one knows it)
  • The treatment of the old and elderly in an entropic world
  • Nostalgia and the value of the past for the visions of the future
  • The idea and the consequences of the ageing of the world/planet for humanity
  • Age vs other intersectionalities in apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic narratives
  • The ideas of “designing” the new-world’s populations and political systems
  • Agelessness, immortality, technologies for the prolongation of life and societies that never die

For the prospective collection of essays, we invite 300-words abstracts on the various meanings and visions of ageing and old age in apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic narratives. The deadline for the submissions is the end of August 2024. Please send your abstracts to both dr Katarzyna Bronk-Bacon (kbronkk@amu.edu.pl) and Simon Bacon (baconetti@gmail.com).