Apocalypse Now and Then
Institute of Advanced Study, Cosin's Hall, Palace Green
Depictions of apocalypse - understood as revelation and/or the end of the world, in both religious and secular discourses - serve a variety of functions, ranging from the political to the scientific, and the theological to the anthropological. They can reinforce or subvert power structures, interrogate what it is to be human, and figure the future in order to reflect on the present. This interdisciplinary seminar series brings together experts from a number of disciplines to reflect on two intertwined themes. The first explores the functions served by end-of-world narratives and pictures, that is, it focuses on why apocalyptic stories are told rather than on what particular stories are told. The second analyses the ways in which the apocalyptic is characterized by a relationship with particular sorts of form, language and image, for example, metaphors and fictions, pictures, performances, and poems.
Speakers will analyse objects from the early medieval to the modern periods. Topics include Islamic literature, medieval and renaissance cartography, Newton and the Scientific Revolution, English Doomsday drama, Victorian 'last man' narratives, the Nordic Judgement Day, the Left Behind Series, and the Anglo-Saxon Ruthwell Cross.
18 October 2010
8 November 2010
22 November 2010
6 December 2010
13 December 2010
24 January 2010
7 February 2011
28 February 2011
7 March 2011
Each seminar will feature a speaker and also a response by an expert in a related field. We intend to publish revised and expanded papers from the series as an edited volume.
The seminars are free to attend and are open to all. All seminrs will start at 5.30pm and will take place at the Institute of Advanced Study. For more information, please contact Dr Kathryn Banks.