The End is Nigh, Eventually: Global and Local Approaches to the Pre-Apocalypse

Summer 2022
Lee Hibbard
ENGL 1102 SF5
Apocalypse (noun): From the Greek apokálypsis, 'Uncovering' The end of the world. The great calamity. The apocalypse. Discussions of climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, and violence have become an everyday occurrence, and the rhetoric surrounding these ideas is often nihilistic -- focused on the inevitability of our destruction – or post-apocalyptic – fixated on how humanity recovers after catastrophic events. But what does it mean to experience the time preceding an apocalypse? How can we look at the current events of the world through the lens of preventing the seemingly inevitable 'end of the world'? What happens when we focus on the pre apocalyptic scenario instead of the post and uncover what's being done to prevent and survive disaster? This course focuses on current conversation surrounding disasters, calamities, and apocalyptic events, both in real life and fictional contexts, moving from the context of global perspectives on the end of the world to local efforts to mitigate apocalyptic events. Through an investigation of current events, popular culture, and local efforts towards sustainability, students will have the opportunity to explore what it means to engage with notions of the apocalypse, how those notions are discussed across multiple genres, and what's being done to mitigate the seemingly inevitable destruction of all humankind. Assignments will include analysis of apocalyptic media, research and creative projects that engage aspects of WOVEN communication, and active collaboration with local sustainability initiatives through the Center for Sustainable Communities in Atlanta.
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