The Department of Central American Studies Distinguished Lecture Series presents Claire Colebrook's Unthinkable Extinction. This lecture explores the concepts of extinction and post-apocalypse in cultural production and cinema.
It might seem all too obvious that post-apocalyptic cinema is an expression of end times - that our dim awareness of the sixth mass extinction expresses itself in a whole series of narratives of collapse, threat and annihilation. Climate change is but one of many motifs within the genre of the post-apocalyptic, often accompanied by other imagined catastrophes such as viral pandemic, alien invasion, or technological dystopia. Despite this manifest coupling I will argue that the post-apocalyptic imaginary precludes any possibility of an ethics of extinction, and is perhaps better thought of as a hyper-humanist reaction formation.
This event is made possible by the Department of Central American Studies and the College of Humanities Academic Programming Fund, as well as the departments of English, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Journalism.