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Accepted Paper:

From Antiquity to Apocalypse: End of time alterity between Old and New worlds  
Jonathan Skinner (University of Surrey)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores futurology and the alterity of time by looking at the attraction of “the end of time”. It does so by juxtaposing interest in Antiquity with interest in the Apocalypse.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores futurology and the alterity of time by looking at the attraction of “the end of time”. It does so by juxtaposing interest in Antiquity with interest in the Apocalypse. Specifically, it explores the re-animation of volcano eruption disaster tropes to fathom end-time experiences. The fascination with the discovery and marketisation of Italy’s Old World Pompeii is juxtaposed with the on-going volcanic eruptions on the British overseas territory Montserrat in the Eastern Caribbean. In both, a disaster tourism trope is developed for consumption, and the fascination with disaster and destruction is used by visitors as a vantage point to gaze into an apocalypse abyss. Susan Sontag has written about such disaster points as refreshing catalysts – the catastrophe as refreshing instigator of creativity. Sontag was writing about 'the imagination of disaster', using dramatic science fiction stories to make her point, showing us how relationships between protagonist/narrator and disaster have changed from the simple engagement (the saviour hero), to the more complex (idiosyncratic character). In Pompeii - and in Plymouth (Montserrat), described by many journalists as a 21st century Pompeii, and by many geo-tourists as just sublime – the attraction lies with the examples of a modernity in decay; with the defamiliarisation (Edensor) of the environment and hybrid nature of ‘finds’; and with an imaginative subjunctive engagement with fatality (Rojek). Both engagements with catastrophe are attempts to replay and rehearse an end of time.

Panel P44b
Futurology: anthropological containment and delivery
  Session 1 Friday 10 June, 2022, -