четвртак, 1. септембар 2022.

The Rise of Pop Pessimism and its Implications

Velika mi je čast, ali i zadovoljstvo, što ću u nedelju 4. septembra učestvovati na naučnoj konferenciji koja okuplja prestižna imena iz akademskog sveta, a na temu koja mi naročito srcu leži: PESIMIZAM! Tačnije, „The Rise of Pop Pessimism and its Implications”.


Na ovoj konferenciji, koja se odigrava u gradu Turda, blizu Kluža, usred Transilvanije (!), izlagaću rad u kojem istražujem konkretne oblike koje pesimizam poprima u delima H. F. Lavkrafta i Tomasa Ligotija, te sličnosti i razlike na koje se on u njihovim pričama izražava i učinke koji se tu postižu. Naslov je „Horror’s Bitter Pill: Pessimism in Lovecraft and Ligotti”.


Evo više detalja o toj konferenciji, učesnicima i temama o kojima će govoriti. Ako vas ovo zainteresuje, rekoše mi da će biti LIVE FEED prenos u nedelju, na Fejsbuk stranici Ratiu Foruma (NGO koja je glavni organizator), ovde: https://www.facebook.com/theratiuforum

Po završetku bi video izlaganja trebalo da budu na Jutjubu. Nešto kasnije biće i odštampana u Zborniku… Dakle, evo šta možete, ako želite, i sami da saslušate u nedelju.


The Rise of Pop Pessimism 

and its Implications


The Rise of Pop Pessimism and its Implications Conference is a sequel to the highly successful Rethinking Pessimism in the Covid World, which was hosted in September 2021. The conference gathered prominent experts from Europe and the U.S. who unpacked the realism and/or pessimism of modern European thinkers, as well as experts who discussed the tradition of melancholy in European thought. Attendees expressed a desire for a follow-up event on pop pessimism focusing on contemporary expressions of pessimism in the film industry, arts, literature and political ideologies.

After World War II, pessimism was marginalised in Western mainstream conception. However, it soon reappeared in popular culture. Hollywood movies starting with The War of the Worlds (1953) and On the Beach (1959) began to warn that the end of humanity could arrive at any moment. What was an occasional genre of apocalyptic films and series became a real industry at the end of the 20th century towards the beginning of the 21st century. Agents of annihilation of humans appear in different forms: hostile, warlike or hungry aliens; humans who themselves cause nuclear annihilation; cataclysms from outer space by comets or gamma rays; robots that take over the world from humans; a zombie apocalypse; climate cataclysm; mega volcanic explosion; and pandemics with mutated deadly viruses. Some of the films are more concentrated on what was left of humanity in a world following apocalyptic disasters.

In addition to films, some authors with rather pessimistic messages, such as H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), who was virtually unknown during his lifetime, received unexpected appraisal and critical considerations many decades after their death.

In 1992, Al Gore, who subsequently became U.S. Vice President, published his book Earth in the Balance, for which he earned the title of an eco-pessimist by his opponents, and eco-realist by his supporters. Ever since then, the end of human civilisation due to climate change has become one of the most heavily contested issues in every corner of the globe. Eating Our Way to Extinction (2021) and Burning (2021) are prime examples of some of the anxiety-inducing documentaries shedding light on climate change and the impact of human behaviour on the future of the earth.

Finally, Christian fundamentalism is described as one of the leading political ideologies in the U.S. Many Christian fundamentalists believe in the imminent end of the world that will come during their life time through an end-time event known as the Rapture when the righteous will be resurrected and the remaining sinful humanity will be “left behind”. Tim LaHaye’s series Left Behind sold in more than 65 million copies by July 2016. The publication was also followed by a mini-series and various films.

Growing pop pessimism in films, literature, ecological considerations, and fundamentalist political ideologies means that scholarly analysis is more than needed. This conference represents an effort to describe, analyse and explain this ever-rising phenomenon in contemporary popular culture.


The Rise of Pop Pessimism and its Implications

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Turda, Transylvania, Romania


11.00 – 11.10             

Introductory Notes:

            Prof. Christopher Coker and Prof. S. G. Markovich


11.10 – 13.40             

Panel 1: Pessimism and Dystopia in Politics

                        Chairperson: Prof. Adrian Pabst


Prof. Christopher Coker, LSE IDEAS, The Coming Zombie Apocalypse and what it says about the present Zeitgeist 


Prof. Alexander Evans, LSE and LSE IDEAS, Will pessimism dominate the 2020s? Politics, anxiety and the spread of ‘prepper’ culture


Prof. Slobodan G. Markovich, Uni. of Belgrade and LSE IDEAS, Hollywood Apocalypse, Social Anxiety and Politics of Fear



13.40 – 15.00             

Lunch Break


15.00 – 16.30             

Panel 2: Pessimism in Films and Literature and its Meaning

                        Chairperson: Prof. S. G. Markovich


Dr Fernando Herrero, University of Manchester, Cinematic Geopolitics, Pessimism, Obscenity: About Lars Von Trier's Europe Trilogy


Dr Dejan Ognjanović, Independent Researcher, Horror’s Bitter Pill: Pessimism in Lovecraft and Ligotti


Dr  Radu Vancu, University of Sibiu, The Sense of an Ending. Millennialist Expectations and Negative Utopia in Romanian Post-communist Poetry and Films



16.30 – 17.00             

Coffee Break


17.00 – 18.00             

Panel 3: Between Utopia and Dystopia

                                    Chairperson: Prof. Alexander Evans 


Prof Adrian Pabst, University of Kent and National Institute of Economic and Social Research, Virtual Politics and the Return of Reality — on the dystopian utopia of climate activism and its fight against ‘fossil fascism


Prof. Simona Modreanu, Alexandru Ioan Cuza Uni. of Iasi, The unbearable charm of dystopia: from disappointed post-transition Romanians to Michel Houellebecq and Haruki Murakami


18.00 – 18.15             

Concluding Remarks


* * *


Uživajte u ovome, a nadam se da ću i ja uživati tokom tih pet dana u Transilvaniji, gde sam već zapljunuo nekoliko obaveznih lokaliteta za posetiti. Jeste, nije ovo tzv. „zoom konferencija“ sa „učešćem“ preko kompjutera, nego IN VIVO izlaganje i druženje na licu mesta, pa stoga jedva čekam da najzad naživo osetim duh Transilvanije… Foto izveštaji slede…


Razloga za pesimizam svakako imate, i to sad još i više nego ikada, naročito ako slušate zlikovce na vlasti

– ali ako redovno svraćate na ovaj blog, onda znate da stvari nisu nužno baš tako crne… Odnosno, ako i jesu, ima i nekih lepih, dobrih, pametnih stvari i ljudi da unesu malo svetla u sav ovaj mrak.