Editors: Robert Folger, Felicitas Loest and Jenny Stümer
Published by the Käte Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies (CAPAS)
Apocalyptica is an international, interdisciplinary, open-access, double-blind peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Käte Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies (CAPAS) at Heidelberg University.
We are seeking original submissions that actively explore the apocalypse as a figure of thought (a practice, relationship, form, experience, aesthetic, or theme) in order to grapple with the cultural politics of disaster, catastrophe, and the (up)ending of worlds.
Are we living in the end times or has the end of the world already happened? What if the apocalypse is not simply an imagined catastrophic event to come, but a revelation, an inspiration and (perhaps) a chance for a better world?
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 culture, political debate and scholarly discourses.
The end of the world is increasingly featured in fiction films, TV series, music, art, video games, comics, literature, theatre, and photography. We are particularly interested in how these depictions of the apocalypse articulate our cultural politics of past and present while imagining devastating or liberatory futures. The notion of apocalyptic upheaval is met (and productively troubled/sometimes also utilized) by new social justice movements, innovative narratives, and storytelling practices that draw on (and simultaneously influence) new socio-economic discourses in an effort to 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 cultural or lived experience, haunting sensibilities, and productive fantasies that employ the un/making of worlds.
Moving beyond notions of redemption or more traditional theological approaches to the end of the world, we ask: How do we make sense of/in a doomed world? How does the apocalypse help us to meet the challenges of the present while considering the often-violent legacies of the past with a view to emancipatory future(s)?
The unprecedented trials of the COVID-19 pandemic, petro-capitalism’s extraordinary expansion, technocratic and algorithmic governance and escalating surveillance, mounting social and ecological inequality, the escalation of global border regimes, aggressive risk management, and, of course, the continuity and 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.
In light of these challenges, we seek submissions that grapple with the question of what it means to think with, against, and beyond the apocalypse today. 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, political compositions, alternative collectivities, and fuller relationships with each other and the world?
Possible contributions might examine the apocalypse in relation to the following themes, contexts and media (the list may serve as inspiration):
- De/Colonial apocalypses
- Anti/Epistemologies of the apocalypse
- Anthropogenic climate change and decolonial ecologies
- Race, gender, and sexuality (queer apocalypse, apocalypse as decolonization, feminist apocalypse, anthropogenic whiteness)
- Apocalyptic temporalities (decentered futurisms, experiential histories, alternative memories)
- Cultural imaginaries, narratives, and practices (film, TV, literature, music, comics, video games, art, theatre, photography)
- Apocalypse, genre and motifs (Sci-Fi, satire, comedy, melodrama, cyberpunk, dystopia and utopia)
- Collective political imaginaries, movements and activism (indigenous resistance and postcolonial struggles, Black Lives Matter; Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future)
- Embodied experiences (viscerality, affect, survival)
- Apocalyptic sensibilities (ghosts and haunting, aesthetics, art)
- Elemental apocalypse (solar imaginaries, anti-imperial ontologies of water, fire, earth)
- Petrocultures, nuclear necropolitics, and securitization
- Animal studies, ecocriticism, and animacies
- Architecture and landscape (including social relations to the environment, atmospheric knowledge, and climate strategies)
- White supremacy and right-wing politics
- Algorithmic governance and technocolonialism (digital cultures, social media, surveillance)
- Border politics and global mobilities (climate migration, border-walls, ecologies)
- Pandemics and epidemics
- Conceptualizing the ‘end’ of ‘worlds’
Please submit your article (no longer than 8,000-9,000 words including abstract (250 words) and bibliography) and a short bio (50 words) by 15 July 2022 to email@example.com.
We take rolling submissions year-round; however, for consideration in our upcoming issue, please adhere to the deadline of 15 July 2022.
All submissions must use author-date reference style, 12pt font and at least 1.5 line spacing. Please check our style guide prior to submission.
For further Information please contact Jenny Stümer or Michael Dunn: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: Year-round – 15 July 2022 (for our next issue)
More information about Apocalyptica: https://heiup.uni-heidelberg.de/journals/apoc