F14 Harp - ENGLISH 140 - Ends of the World: Apocalypse and Post-Apocalypse in Contemporary American Fiction
The question that this course’s texts will think about is none other than what happens when the world ends. This seminar will delve (without fear) into a diverse selection of contemporary narratives of apocalypse, dystopia, and doomsday scenarios. We'll use these texts to address questions like:
How do narratives of apocalypse and post-apocalypse help us better understand our present cultural moment?
Are we in some ways culturally obsessed with end-of-the-world anxieties? And if so, why? Have we become more interested in these topics recently?
How do these stories engage or criticize traditional concepts of good and evil? Are apocalyptic texts inherently “moral”?
To what extent (if any) do stories of fear and destruction perhaps paradoxically offer readers hope?
Texts will likely include novels and short stories by Cormac McCarthy, Margaret Atwood, Colson Whitehead, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Orson Scott Card, and others.
Albrecht Dürer The Four Avenging Angels from the 'Apocalypse' woodcut on laid paper 15 15/16 in x 11 3/10 in (40.48 cm x 28.73 cm);22 in x 18 ⅛ in (55.88 cm x 46.04 cm) Gift of the Friends of the Museum of Art in honor of Bret Waller
John Collier View from the Dix Road Bridge, Detroit, Michigan, from "Detroit Focus 2000" black and white photograph on paper 11 in. x 14 in. ( 27.9 cm x 35.5 cm ) Gift of Detroit Focus 2000, and partial purchase with funds from the Jean Paul Slusser Memorial Fund
Joe Deal San Bernardino, California (I), from "The Fault Zone" gold-toned gelatin silver print on paper 13 13/16 in. x 13 3/4 in. ( 35.1 cm x 35 cm ) Gift of The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, in memory of Morris D. Baker, a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Architecture, 1952
Object Orange Auburndale Site, Highland Park, MI, #3 iris print on paper 22.9 x 33 1/16 in. (58.26 x 83.98 cm);20 1/4 x 32 9/16 in. (51.43 x 82.71 cm);22.9 x 33 1/16 in. (58.26 x 83.98 cm) Museum purchase made possible by Stuart and Maxine Frankel
Patrick Nagatani Bentley, Stonehedge, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England (R5), from "The Ryoichi Excavations" toned gelatin silver print on paper 6 in. x 8 in. ( 15.24 cm x 20.32 cm ) Gift of Thomas Wilson '79 and Jill Garling '80
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes And still they don't go! (Y aun no se van!) etching, burnished aquatint and burin on paper 12 in x 8 in (30.48 cm x 20.32 cm);8 1/4 in x 5 3/16 in (20.96 cm x 13.18 cm);8 1/2 in x 5 7/8 in (21.59 cm x 14.92 cm) Gift of Kurt Delbanco in honor of Nicholas Delbanco, and partial purchase with the funds from the W. Hawkins Ferry Fund