BHSU professor to dissect the apocalypse in literature

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, October 29, 2015/Categories: 2015

Dr. Colmenero-Chilberg, Laura: Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, sociology professor at Black Hills State University, will present the Geek Speak lecture "Studying Society through the Apocalyptic Novel: The Road, The Year of the Flood, The Stand, and On the Beach," on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. in room 110 of Jonas Hall on the BHSU campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The apocalyptic world has been an attention grabbing topic since biblical times. Black Hills State University professor Dr. Laura Colmenero-Chilberg will take a closer look at the fictional disaster and how it reflects society.

Colmenero-Chilberg, sociology professor at BHSU, will present the Geek Speak lecture "Studying Society through the Apocalyptic Novel: The Road, The Year of the Flood, The Stand, and On the Beach," on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 4 p.m. in room 110 of Jonas Hall on the BHSU campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

This presentation will look at one mid-20th century novel, Nevil Shute's "On the Beach," and three more recent novels: Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," Margaret Atwood's "The Year of the Flood," and Stephen King's "The Stand." All of the novels are based on different types of apocalypses.

According to Colmenero-Chilberg, apocalyptic literature doesn't really talk about what could happen, but   is a reflection of values, beliefs and norms of the society at the time the literature was written.

"These books reflect the concerns of society at the particular time period they are written. We learn that we are afraid of certain things. Shute's 'On the Beach' is about nuclear war, Atwood's 'The Year of the Flood' talks more about technology messing with DNA and genetics, McCarthy's 'The Road' reflects life after atomic bomb. King's 'The Stand' has religious overtone, its traditional apocalyptic story. All the books are about how we would react in times of that particular apocalypse," said Colmenero-Chilberg.

The apocalypse topic attracts curiosity and fascination. Many books, movies and TV shows are produced about few survivals left on earth trying to deal with consequences, Colmenero-Chilberg said.

"It's about how we can destroy ourselves. It's always about what are we doing that can harm us, destroy us and reflects our fears of death, society falling to pieces. That attracts people's attention. It scares and interests us. It's fun to talk about it," said Colmenero-Chilberg.

Nov. 12 - "Speaking on Behalf of the Natural World's Rights" hosted by Dr. Nikki Dragone

Nov. 19 - "Perspectives on Hunger" hosted by Dr. Trenton Ellis and Dr. John Alsup

To confirm topics, dates, and room numbers, visit www.BHSU.edu/Calendar.

For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, director of the University Honors Program and assistant professor of English, at 605-642-6918 or Courtney.HuseWika@BHSU.edu.
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