Research Area 1Imaginaries of the Apocalypse

The research area can be understood as a living archive of imaginaries of the apocalypse. The aim is to open up the imaginaries of the apocalypse and post-apocalyptic worlds as the subject of global transcultural and transversal processes. The result should be a hermeneutically sharpened and culturally and disciplinarily differentiated Imaginarium of the (post)apocalyptic.

The concept of archive (Foucault 1969) encompasses the household of images (cf. Mauelshagen 2009; Schneider 2018) and discourses (cf. Meyer et al. 2013) as well as the formulas of apocalypses and post-apocalyptic visions. These are conceivable in various social, religious, economic and ecological forms (connection with Research Area 3 - Apocalypses of the Present ). The apocalypses studied by the fellows (textual traditions, institutions, practices) and their afterlives can, but need not, be related to concrete catastrophes (resulting in a close connection with Research Area 2 - Historical Experiences with the Apocalypse and Post-Apocalypse).


Foucault, Michel. L'archéologie du savoir. Paris, Gallimard, 1969. [en. Archaeology of Knowledge. Frankfurt/Main, Suhrkamp,1973]

Mauelshagen, Franz. Die Klimakatastrophe. Szenen und Szenarien. [The Climate Catastrophe. Scences and Scenarios] in: Gerrit Jasper Schenk (Hg.), Katastrophen. Vom Untergang Pompejis bis zum Klimawandel. [Catastrophes. From the Downfall of Pompeji to Climate Change] Stuttgart, Thorbecke, 2009, 205- 223, 256f.

Schneider, Birgit. Klimabilder. Eine Genealogie globaler Bildpolitiken von Klima und Klimawandel. [Climate Images. A Genealogy of Global Image Politics of Climate and Climate Change] Berlin, Matthes & Seitz, 2018.

Meyer, Carla, et al., Hrsg. Krisengeschichte(n): „Krise“ als Leitbegriff und Erzählmuster in kulturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive. [Crises Stories/Histories: “Crisis” as Central Concept and Narrative Pattern in a Cultural Science Perspective] Stuttgart, Steiner, 2013.

Exemplary Fellow Projects

Due to the overlap and the diverse connections between the research areas, the Fellows' research projects can hardly be assigned to just one research area. Nevertheless, some projects can be considered exemplary for a focus on the aspects of the research area: