Natural Disasters and the Apocalypse (1500 to Present): CenSAMM Symposia Series 2018
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Since the early modern period, societies located in different parts of the planet have experienced natural disasters. Ranging from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, from flooding to tidal waves, communities have variously responded to unpredictable and catastrophic natural events. Strategies of human resilience to shattered urban and rural territories were undertaken against a backdrop of cultural responses to trauma caused by natural disasters. Located within a variety of contexts (notably religious, political and socio-economic), natural disasters have usually modified collective perceptions of the world, time, and the position of humans in history. Within a millenarian context, natural disasters have often been interpreted as a prelude to the end time. From a political angle, natural disasters have been seen as the solution to a dystopian world characterized by political ineptitude, moral decay and unsustainable inequality. Similarly, within a religious context, natural disasters have often been interpreted as rooted in the relationship between humans and the divine. Thus, disasters have been interpreted as the first manifestation of divine judgement against human misconduct, and as a prelude to the apocalypse. This conference seeks to explore the different forms through which the idea of natural disasters and the apocalypse has taken shape in geographically distant and culturally different societies from the early modern period to the present.
We welcome papers in any disciplinary field (including, but not limited to, Religious Studies, the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the creative arts in all their forms) that contribute to understanding and promoting discussion on this topic. Approaches may include cross-cultural and interdisciplinary studies, literature and theology; history, oral history, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies; political theory or theology.
Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be emailed to email@example.com no later than July 15, 2018. In the body of your email, please include your name, institution if applicable, contact information, and the title of your abstract.
Accepted abstracts will appear in the conference programme. It is the lead author’s responsibility to ensure his/her abstract is accurate and ready for publication at the time of submission. Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes in length in order to accommodate questions. Presentations and subsequent discussions will be live streamed via the internet and will be digitally archived and made available for future reference.
We encourage the use of accessible language and approaches to communicate concepts and ideas to a broad public audience.
Applications for accommodation and travel cost reimbursements may be considered.
Professor Vanessa Harding (Birkbeck, University of London)
Professor Bill McGuire (University College London)
Professor Koichi Watanabe (National Institute of Japanese Literature, National Institutes for Humanities and SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies).
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