Call for Presentations

Millenarianism and Surviving the Destruction of Humanity

The Apocalypse Project: Rescheduled 4th Global Meeting

Please Note: Dates have changed slightly for this event
Saturday 1st August – Sunday 2nd August 2015

Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Presentations:
From the Christian concept of the ‘Apocalypse’ to the Hindu notions of the Kali Yuga, visions of destruction and fantasies of the ‘end times’ have a long history. In the last few years, public media, especially in the West, have been suffused with images of the end times, or even the end of humanity and afterward, from the zombie apocalypse (the AMC series The Walking Dead) to life after the collapse of civilization (the NBC series Revolution.) Several popular television series and video games (Deep Earth Bunker) are now based on preparing for and surviving the end of the world. Once a fringe activity, ‘survivalism’ has gone mainstream, and a growing industry supplies ‘doomsday preppers’ with all they need to survive the post-apocalyptic chaos. One purpose of the conference is to explore these ideas by situating them in context — for example, psychological, historical, literary, cultural, political, and economic. The second aim of the conference is to examine today’s widespread fascination with apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic thought, and to understand its rising appeal across broad sections of contemporary society around the world, and with this to determine the practical implications of an apocalypse, together with ideas on how to disseminate and use the information gained during this meeting. To this end, it is proposed that for this coming year presentations should focus more on the practical rather than theoretical aspects of apocalypse, whether these be illustrated by real examples such as the impact of diseases, for example ebola, or by reference to some of the recent films or tv shows depicting millenarianism. There may be other comparable outlets and examples which you feel would form an interesting basis for an ongoing discussion. Whichever avenue is followed, it is hoped that as a group we can find answers to questions such as:

~Why do the apocalypse and other aspects of millenarianism matter?
~What is at stake if apocalyptic/millenarian visions are embraced or discredited?
~What strategies can avoid the destruction of humanity envisaged in apocalyptic visions?
~What are the consequences of ignoring them?

With this in mind, proposals for presentations, papers, performances, reports, work-in-progress, workshops and pre-formed panels are invited on issues related to (but not limited to) the following themes:

-Decline, Collapse, Decay,
-Survivalism and Doomsday Preppers
-Theories of Social Change
-Peak Oil, Resource Depletion, Global Warming, Economic Collapse-
-Environmental Destruction: climate change, resource depletion, drought, deforestation, air and water pollution, etc.
-Disease – Ebola, SARS etc., Mass Death
-Sex and Gender at the End of Time
-Ironic and/or Anti-Apocalyptic Thinking
-Utopia and Dystopia
-Intentional Communities as Communities of the End Times
-Selling the Apocalypse, Commodifying Disaster, and Marketing the End
-Death Tourism and Disaster Capitalism
-The Age of Terror
-Disaster Fiction/Movies/Video Games
-History as Apocalypse
-Remembering and Reliving the Collapse of the Western Roman Empire
-Post- Apocalyptic conditions
-Positive aspects of an Apocalypse, including change and transformation.
-Visions of a world without/beyond humanity

This interdisciplinary project welcomes proposals from all disciplines and research areas, including anthropology, psychoanalysis, political economy, psychology, area studies, communal studies, environmental studies, history, sociology, religion, theology, gender studies, the Arts, biology, chemistry, physics, computer studies, and consumer studies. Subsequently we encourage submission of proposals for short workshops, practitioner-based activities, best practice showcases, how-to sessions, live demonstrations, performances, and pre-formed panels. We particularly welcome short film screenings; photographic essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.

What to send:
300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 5th June 2015. All submissions are at least double blind peer reviewed. Proposals should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Apocalypse4 Proposal Submission.

All abstracts will be at least double blind peer reviewed. Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all  proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Sheila Bibb
Rob Fisher

The conference is part of the ‘Ethos’ series of research projects, which in turn belong to the Critical Issues programmes of ID.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and challenging. All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit a proposal for presentation.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.