Panel at the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Conference Las Vegas: “City of God, City of Destruction”

Presiding Officer: Patrick Vincent (Independent Scholar) 

Apocalyptic literature and its study have typically centered around notions of Christian eschatology, i.e. the judgement presented in the Book of Revelations. However, the aftermath of the second world war helped reshape our notions of this genre. Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has begun to examine the relations between humans and the Earth during the Anthropocene. Images of global thermonuclear war, fears of communism, and a burgeoning climate change (with its subsequent and constituent crises) have eclipsed the teleological notions of divine creation and its eventual, inexorable movement towards eschatology. 

Papers in this panel can examine the different implications surrounding the constant evolution of our understanding of apocalypse and/or crisis. Through the analysis of film, literature, or music investigate the ways that crisis is represented and/or apocalypse is speculated.