image from Melancholia
Taught by Edmundo Paz-Soldan (Romance Studies), the seminar Apocalyptic Writing in Latin America takes as a jumping off point the masterpieces of (post)apocalyptic narrative that have come out of Latin American literature in the last few decades to explore the literary, religious, and historical underpinnings of the subgenre, going back to the Book of Revelations, and analyzing the reasons behind its current popularity. Beginning with Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, this short series examines the apocalypse as depicted in cinema, dovetailing with the seminar to look at the political and social crises connected to apocalyptic narratives—from dictatorships to the current neoliberal order. 2011’s Juan of the Dead brings the apocalypse to Cuba, and Alfonso Cuarón’s cult classic Children of Men predicts the climate refugee crisis with its allegorical tale of a miraculous pregnancy amid global infertility.
The series is cosponsored with the Dept of Romance Studies.