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New at CAPAS: Melanie Le Touze

What does the apocalypse and/or post-apocalypse mean for you? 

The answer to what the apocalypse means to me depends on the perspective from which you are asking the question. In the current discourse, it intertwines existential fear and ecological concerns. This narrative serves as a lens through which one can explore the fragility of human existence and the precarious state of our planet. Initially, my perception of the apocalypse was shaped by familial fascination with world-endings, so in my childhood, the apocalypse was always something I feared. Exposure to diverse apocalyptic depictions in science fiction expanded my understanding, revealing the potential for new beginnings and changes. Even during my studies in history and romance languages, my primary focus was on applying ecocriticism to literature or analyzing artistic productions from societies or groups that were exposed to catastrophes. My perspective evolved to view the apocalypse as an opportunity for resilience, adaptation, and renewal.

Now, I see the “apocalypse” as the ending of a world, rather than the ending of the world, as a philosophical mirror that reflects the anxieties and aspirations of the contemporary moment. I would consider it as an entry into a dialogue that transcends individual perspectives and embraces the interconnection of humanity and the environment and explores alternative social structures. 

Gesicht, Treppen

What are you trying to achieve in your current project?

My research background has guided me towards exploring open and transparent scientific practices, promoting transdisciplinary research, and engaging non-academic audiences, particularly through artistic projects. Joining CAPAS's scientific communication team aligns with my goal to transform and innovate communication methods and to share researchers’ insights. Collaborating with scientists from diverse fields at CAPAS offers me the opportunity to develop effective knowledge dissemination. I am eager to learn and grow in the field of science communication, focusing on questions related to the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic world. This opportunity allows me to contribute to informing and involving audiences beyond academia and creating new knowledge.

What are the aspects you are looking forward to at CAPAS?

Although I’m not an expert in apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic issues, I look forward to get insights from fellow researchers and explore their research topics. As part of this interdisciplinary team, I aim to develop innovative communication strategies. My goal is to organize events that bridge diverse communities, intra-academic and beyond academics. Furthermore, I look forward to exchanging ideas with colleagues, hoping to gain inspiration for potential research projects of my own.

To get some practical advice: What would be the three things you would definitely need in a post-apocalyptic world? 

Hm, that’s a good question. While working on communication, I would answer that I would take a Zombie-English-Dictionary with me because effective communication is key when you’re negotiating with the undead. Second item would be Instant Coffee Supply, because facing the post-apocalyptic world without caffein could be a bit too apocalyptic. Last item would definitely be music, or a self-watering plant to have a bit of lush, green aesthetic in my post-apocalyptic bunker.


Melanie Le Touze supports the Science Communication team at CAPAS in expanding projects that bridge the gap between art and science. During her DAAD lectureships in Nantes and Bordeaux, she developed various initiatives that forged connections between the academic realm and the fields of theater, comics, cartoons, literature, photography, and activism.