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AaU 2021 : Apocalypse and Utopia, 1914-1945

Event Date: Feb 18, 2021 - Feb 18, 2021
Submission Deadline: Feb 04, 2021


While the apocalyptic resonances of the great global conflicts of the twentieth century are well known, the continuity and convulsion in social, political and wider cultural understandings of apocalypticism and utopic idealism across the span of the World Wars and the interwar years has received only limited academic attention. This online symposium will explore the evolution of existing and the emergence of new apocalyptic and millenarian thinking, groups, and movements during the period from the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, through the interwar period, and up to the end of World War Two in 1945.

It is intended that the symposium will consider apocalyptic and millenarian thinking in a broad sense and across geographies to include ostensibly political, secular, and socio-cultural subjects in addition to explicitly religious groups and movements where these capture, encode, or express themes of apocalypticism, utopianism, or the interaction of these two.

Call For Paper

Alongside explicitly religious topics such as the emerging peace-movements associated with the mainstream churches in the aftermath of the Great War, and the flourishing of “prophetic-gnostic” non-traditional forms of religious and spiritual expression, discussion might include the shadow cast by the Great War on creative expression through the interwar period including apocalyptically inflected art and literature, political visions with millenarian patterns in Russia and China, and the emergence of Nazi messianism in Weimar Germany, and broader themes of millennialism discernible in transnational mechanisms like the Balfour Declaration and the Versailles Treaty.

Academics working within these and related areas are invited to propose papers as the basis for discussion within the symposium which will take place online on Thursday 18 February 2021.

Paper proposals with a 300-word abstract and details of academic affiliation should be submitted to the organizers, Prof. James Crossley (St Mary’s University, Twickenham) and Dr. Alastair Lockhart (University of Cambridge), at by Thursday 4 February 2021.

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