Apocalypse, Populism, Critique: An Interdisciplinary Symposium
Populists on the Left and on the Right in different ways employ the prospect of apocalypse to advocate and promote their views of how to confront impending challenges modern societies and human civilization will be confronting in coming decades. In a variety of ways, both the prospect of apocalypse, and strategies to employ this prospect in terms of the traditional divide between Left and Right, call for new forms of critique to provide opportunities for confronting impending challenges in constructive ways that do not regenerate and perpetuate the structural patterns that have been generating the conditions which produced these challenges to begin with.
Three sessions with speakers from different disciplines in Arts & Sciences provide informed perspectives on the current resurgence of populism which, in the face of proliferating challenges, is likely to become more intense, probably much more intense. Given participants’ varied expertise, different types of lessons that should have been learned, e.g., from National Socialism, were ignored, in many different ways (e.g., in terms of teaching students about the importance of history, historical knowledge, knowledge of history, society, politics, culture, etc.), in ways that predictably are very dangerous for democracy and related values and practices. Each session will set the stage for an engaged exchange between experts, interested faculty, and students (both graduate and undergraduate), presenting opportunities to highlight what different disciplines have to contribute at a critical time. The links between apocalypse, populism, and critique will not be addressed explicitly by each speaker, but links will be obvious and undeniable in many regards – e.g., in terms of national, societal, political apocalypse as a historical reality, a prospect, an ideological device, and a coping strategy.
Friday, October 30 at 10:00am to 4:00pmVirtual Event