An end of days. A utopia to come. A great cosmic reversal of fortune. A revelation of truth that leads to radical transformation. Each of these themes and many more fall under the genre of imagination that we associate with the apocalypse. In order to understand the persistence and prevalence of apocalyptic imaginations, we will move back and forth through time. On the one hand, we will read the Book of Revelation in relationship to a selection of ancient Zoroastrian, Jewish, Greek, Christian, and Muslim texts identified with apocalyptic traditions. On the other hand, we will read these texts in relationship to and alongside select literature and movements of apocalypse in the U.S.A. We will pay particular attention to how apocalyptic imaginations reflect upon and interact with social structures of class, colonization, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexuality.
The Class: Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: grading will be based on participation, short P/F papers, a graded 3-page essay that will be revised, a 5-page second essay, and a final 7- to 10-page paper
Enrollment Preferences: first-years and sophomores preferred or Religion and/or American Studies majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
WS Notes: As a WS course, grading will be based on short, weekly P/F papers, a graded 3-page essay that will be revised for credit, a 5-page second essay, and a final 7- to 10-page paper for which a draft will be peer reviewed. Students will receive from the instructor timely comments on their writing skills, with suggestions for improvement.