Fellow 2023/2024Tristan Sturm

Fellowship Term: 04/2024 – 07/2024

Tristan Sturm is Associate Professor of Geography at Queen’s University Belfast since 2015. He earned his Ph.D. in Geography at UCLA (2011). Previously, he held a position as assistant Professor of Geography at York University (2012 – 2015). He currently holds fellowships at the Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice (2017-present) and the Centre of Canadian Studies (2015-present).

Selected works include:

  • “Mapping the End Times: American Evangelical Geopolitics and Apocalyptic Visions.” (Dittmer, J. & Sturm, T., 2016),
  • “ Apocalyptic Futures of Health and Wellbeing: Ethnographic Approaches” (Lynch, R., Sturm, T., & Webster, J. (eds.) (2021))
  • “Variegated Environmental Apocalypses: Post-Politics, the Contestatory, and an Eco-Precariat Manifesto for a Radical Apocalyptics” Sturm, T. & Lustig, N. (2022)
  • “The Conspiracy of COVID-19 and 5G: Spatial Analysis Fallacies in the age of Data Democratization.” Flaherty, E., Sturm, T., & Farries, E. (2022)
  • “Living in the Wake of Rural Irish Troubles: Building an Institution for Sustainable Peace Through Emotive Out-of-Place Tourism.” Erwin, J. & Sturm, T. (2022)

University profile page

Tristan Sturm

The Future is a Foreign Country: The Apocalyptic Landscapes of American Christian Zionist Pilgrims in Israel and Palestine

This book project, “The Future is a Foreign Country,” is a decade-long ethnographic study of American Christian Zionist pilgrims whose religious (Jewish-Christian) and national (American-Israeli) identities are imagined through an expectation of an apocalyptic future. This is a future that finds expression in landscape pilgrimage sites in Israel and Palestine. The principle contribution to the study of Christian Zionism and apocalyptic studies is the application of both a geographical perspective and recent futures theories (eg, Elizabeth Grosz and Brian Massumi). The book interrogates landscapes of the future: an anticipation of an emergent (yet closed) future that is imagined by American Christian Zionists in Israel and Palestine. Here I use Philip K Dick's concept of “orthogonal time” as a heuristic concept to understand their imagined/imaginative apocalyptic future. I explicitly explore how this future is made possible through the visible construction of past territorial claims of lived, ritualized, and administered space from the perspective of landscape lookouts. These landscape lookouts are the panoramas of the Mount of Olives, Tel Megiddo (Armageddon), and Sderot, an Israeli town bordering Gaza. I show how various American evangelicals bolster their identities through Israeli and Palestinian landscapes and also how they help redefine Israel’s landscapes to meet their apocalyptic anticipations. This book therefore explores ethnographically how these apocalyptic geopolitics play-out on the ground through the activities of American Christian Zionist pilgrims in Israel and Palestine, and with Israelis and Palestinians.