Apocalyptica is an interdisciplinary, international, double-blind peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Käte Hamburger Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies (CAPAS) at Heidelberg University. The journal publishes thought-provoking voices and diverse perspectives invested in the end of worlds.
We are seeking submissions from a broad range of fields in order to champion the potential of critical thinking and cultural analysis in the humanities, social- and cultural science as an imaginative and (potentially) transformative force in a doomed world. Our aim is to encourage the production of cross-disciplinary knowledge and debate on the apocalypse as a figure of thought, a discourse tradition, a concrete experience of past and present, and a historical phenomenon.
Apocalyptica is interested in contributions that are situated in the humanities, but may engage with the apocalypse as/in practices, texts, images, and institutions. This may include reference to areas as varied as cultural studies, literary studies, media studies, history, philosophy, aesthetics, archeology, sociology, gender studies and critical race studies, politics, economics, psychology, geography, future studies, eco-criticism, post-colonial and indigenous studies - sometimes drawing on the natural sciences (e.g., epidemiology environmental studies, etc.).
The apocalypse is one of the most fundamental ideas in the history of human kind and a recurrent empirical experience. Broadly speaking, apocalypses have meant and mean the end of the/a world. As a perspective or cultural imaginary, the apocalypse also enables the examination of societies, cultures, movements, and systems. As a mode of upheaval and crisis, but also transformation and development, it potentially envisions (post-apocalyptic) scenarios that entail the prospect of alternative futures and ‘other’ worlds. In this sense, apocalypses mark a point of no return or the re-conception of a world that is both implicated in catastrophe and revelation, with far-reaching consequences for understanding political, social, ecological, cultural, economic, technological, and even psychological change.
We are interested in this kind of collapse of worlds, systems, and experiences as characterized by a radical transformation of the conditions of living or a categorical reform of a way of life. Beyond notions of redemption or more traditional theological approaches to the end of the world, we ask: What experiences inspire apocalyptic thinking? 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 conjoin temporalities of past, present, and future? How do crisis and catastrophe shape human and non-human actors and their relationships? And, how does the apocalypse as a concept help us to address escalating global as well as local challenges which (also) articulate the promise of diverse futures and (perhaps) more just worlds?
As anthropogenic climate change, increasingly polarized politics, and the COVID-19 pandemic anticipate the end of worlds, the idea of the apocalypse is gaining traction in popular and scholarly discourses. Ideas about the end of the world saturate discussions on politics, economics, and technology while the aesthetics of catastrophe are ever present in film, art, media, and literature.
At the same time, apocalypses and their imagined aftermaths produce emancipatory and creative potentials that engage the possibility of plural worlds, embodied futurities, non-linear temporalities and radical difference. These possibilities of the apocalypse are increasingly reflected in the invocation of haunting sensibilities, experimental imaginaries or lived experience that employ the un/making of worlds.
Apocalyptica explores the many sides of apocalyptic thinking in order to create an archive of the apocalyptic imaginary and to investigate experiences of the apocalypse and post-apocalypse as they unsettle the past, present, and future.