IRL Apocalypse

German University Releases First Ever Apocalyptic Science Journal

Apocalyptica Cover

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The realm of post-apocalyptic media has just reached academia as Germany’s Heidelberg University released an open-access journal that explores “apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic studies.”

This is the first time an academic journal has been produced on this specific topic, according to the university’s Centre for Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic Studies.

“The first issue of our open-access journal Apocalyptica is finally out,” the university tweeted on Monday. “We are excited about the broad range of intellectual work and the thought-provoking contributions in this issue. Come read up about the end of the world.”


So why the interest in apocalyptic studies on an academic level? According to CAPAS Managing Director Felicitas Loest and researcher Jenny Stümer, the journal’s release is thanks in part to the truly apocalyptic events that have been happening around the world with greater frequency. Climate change, the Ukrainian war, Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and Pakistan’s flooding are just a few of these recent events that the journal documents.

Apocalyptica Journal

“We are faced with a plethora of catastrophes; a cataclysm of apocalyptic scenarios all of which propose the unravelling of a destructive way of inhabiting the Earth, or an anti-relational refusal of the (common) world, while constantly doubling down on the gendered, raced, colonial, and environmental violence that have impelled these devastating patterns in the first place,” the researchers wrote.

Apocalyptica even dives into a deeper meaning behind what the end of the world could be like. “Apocalypse as a mode of thinking, writing and working together teaches us about the limits and potentialities of ‘world’, ‘worlds’, and ‘worlding’; raising questions about what it means to think with, against and beyond the end today.”

The first issue of the journal contains six research articles on various apocalyptic theories, an editorial, and a review of two books: Brian Greene’s Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and the Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (2020) and Katie Mack’s The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking)(2020).

You can read the entire first issue for free on the Apocalyptica website in downloadable PDF format.

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Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's Massively.com, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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