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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.

This woodcut print is vertically oriented. The upper half of the piece is celestial with an angel standing on a cloud blowing a trumpet. Men on fire-breathing beasts exit from the clouds. At the very top center, a white-bearded figure, shown from the torso to the head, holds four trumpets. Rays emanate from his head to form a halo, and he is framed in a half circle. Directly below him is an altar with vines on the sides and four child-faces spitting water out. The upper right corner features an angel blowing a trumpet and the upper left features a smiling angel with hands clasped in prayer. The lower half of the print is terrestrial and depicts a chaotic battle scene. Four angels with wings and swords attack a crowd of men, including a pope, a bishop and a king, as well as commoners. These figures are all crowded into the foreground with contorted postures. There is a city on a hill visible in the distance. The center bottom has Dürer’s signature of letter "D" contained within a letter &q
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
This is a black and white photograph depicting a rocky landscape scene. There are sharp cliff walls, striated with grooves, and two dirt roads with tire tracks. In the center portion, there is a grouping of seventeen piles of dirt, all of a similar size, and scrub like vegetation. The viewpoint is from above looking down.
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
Two orange buildings on snow-covered ground on either side of an unplowed road. 
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
Laton Alton Huffman
After the Buffalo Run, North Montana
colotype print on paper
9 15/16 in. x 7 15/16 in. ( 25.3 cm x 20.2 cm )
Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Michael Fauman
Stonehedge in the background with a car being excavated from underground in the foreground. There are ropes around the site.
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
Man seated at a table with Armageddon sign. He is wearing a striped shirt and looking at the camera. There is a New York City bus map posted on the column behind him.
Duncan Hartley
Armageddon, Midtown Subway Station
digital print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta
17 in. x 22 in. ( 43.18 cm x 55.88 cm )
Gift of the artist
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
Indian
Bhairava
copper
3 1/16 in x 1 3/4 in x 1 1/4 in (7.8 cm x 4.5 cm x 3.1 cm)
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Leo S. Figiel and Dr. and Mrs. Steven J. Figiel
A portrait image in two tones of blue printed slightly off match, showing a man at the center dressed in a white shirt, tie and slacks, with dark-rimmed glasses. The man is leaning over a automoton/robot, which is seated to the left of him. On the right and to the back, are two more standing robots. Each robot has humanoid features like a face, torso, arms, hands, legs, and feet with boots on. Two of the robots, one seated and one to the back at the center, have their internal workings revealed with their central torso panel removed, showing wires and indeterminate parts. 
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi
Watch out for miracles... new hope for better babies
screenprint on paper
14 15/16 in x 10 in (37.94 cm x 25.4 cm)
Gift of Professor Diane M. Kirkpatrick

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Apocalypses — by seth@whirl-i-gig.com (February 13 2017 @ 11:54 am)
Comparative — by seth@whirl-i-gig.com (February 13 2017 @ 11:54 am)
University class selection — by seth@whirl-i-gig.com (February 13 2017 @ 11:54 am)
Visual and literary themes — by seth@whirl-i-gig.com (February 13 2017 @ 11:54 am)

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Last Updated

April 4, 2020 3:43 p.m.

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