Beyond the End of the World


About the Project

Catastrophic environmental breakdown, mass species extinction, financial collapse, racist separatism, global nuclear war…there is much speculation these days that we are living at the end of democracy, liberalism, capitalism, a cool planet, and civilization as we know it.

What are our chances for survival? How can we envision the unimaginable, and what will life look like in the near and distant future?

Funded by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Sawyer Seminars, this project will bring leading international thinkers and cultural practitioners to UC Santa Cruz to engage with these questions through a series of seminars, public lectures, and other research-related activities. It will culminate in an art exhibition and interdisciplinary conversation titled “Beyond the End of the World: Approaches in Contemporary Art”—addressing the topic from the perspective of the visual arts and providing a venue to connect cross-disciplinary thinking.

Led by Professor of the History of Art and Visual Culture T.J. Demos, in collaboration with Professor of History Matthew O’Hara, Associate Professor of Literature Hunter Bivens, Associate Professor of Anthropology Mayanthi Fernando, and Associate Professor of Sociology Deborah Gould.  Administered by the Humanities Institute in conjunction with the Center for Creative Ecologies.

Project Website