Extinction and Post-Apocalypse: Claire Colebrook

Fisher-Bennett Hall
3340 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Room 300

Claire Colebrook

It might seem all too obvious that post-apocalyptic cinema is an expression of end times - that our dim awareness of the sixth mass extinction expresses itself in a whole series of narratives of collapse, threat and annihilation.  Climate change is but one of many motifs within the genre of the post-apocalyptic, often accompanied by other imagined catastrophes such as viral pandemic, alien invasion, or technological dystopia).  Despite this manifest coupling I will argue that the post-apocalyptic imaginary precludes any possibility of an ethics of extinction, and is perhaps better thought of as a hyper-humanist reaction formation.


Claire Colebrook is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Philosophy and Women's and Gender Studies at Penn State University. She has written books and articles on contemporary European philosophy, literary history, gender studies, queer theory, visual culture and feminist philosophy.  Her most recent book is Twilight of the Anthropocene Idols (co-authored with Tom Cohen and J. Hillis Miller).

This event is co-sponsored by Cinema Studies and the Penn Program in Environmental Studies.