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Thank you for a great AU 2018! - Acton University 2019: June 18 - 21

The Politics of Apocalypse: Pop-Culture at the End of the World

Session 7
Introductory Course

We live in apocalyptic times. Everything is “the end of the world” and our popular culture is rich with the imagination of the apocalypse. Move over Ragnarok and Armageddon, we’ve ushered in a new dystopian turn in politics and pop-culture: zombies stalk the land, machines revolt against us, fragmentation and fracture split, divide, and ultimately destroy us. Using A Secular Age as a lens through which to understand this dystopian shift, this lecture argues that this “dystopian turn” reveals (root: apocalypse) important anxieties and fears about our age: the drift of anomie and individualism, consequentialism and utilitarianism, and a double loss of freedom. With the likes of Katniss Everdeen and Jamie Lannister as our guides, this introduction to reading popular culture is as political as it is popular, as artistic as it is religious, the pathologies of the modern moral order anything but play, as we get serious about our new politics of apocalypse.

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