Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | Keeping Count of the End of the World: A Statistical Analysis of the Historiography, Canonisation, and Historical Fluctuations of Anglophone Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Disaster Narratives

Title:
Keeping Count of the End of the World: A Statistical Analysis of the Historiography, Canonisation, and Historical Fluctuations of Anglophone Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Disaster Narratives
Author:
Jerry Määttä: Department of Literature, Uppsala University, Sweden
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1572411
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2015
Volume:
7
Theme:
Theme: Cultures of Disasters Edited by Anders Ekström and Kyrre Kverndokk
Pages:
411-432
No. of pages:
22
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2015-10-28


Over the past decade, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic disaster narratives seem to have become more popular than ever before. Since its inception in secular form in the first decades of the nineteenth century, however, the genre has experienced a number of fluctuations in popularity, especially in the twentieth century. Inspired by Franco Moretti’s influential Graphs, Maps, Trees (2005), the aim of this study is to analyse the historiography, canonisation, and historical fluctuations of Anglo-phone apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic disaster narratives in literature and film through an elementary statistical analysis of previous surveys of the field. While the small database on which the study is based essentially consists of a meta-study of historiography and canonisation within the genre, disclosing which works have been considered to be the most important, the data is also used to assess the periods in which the most influential, innovative, and/or popular works were published or released. As an attempt is also made to explain some of the fluctuations in the popularity of the genre - with an eye to historical, cultural, medial, social, and political contexts – perhaps the study might help us understand why it is that we as a society seem to need these stories ever so often.

Keywords: Historiography; Canonisation; Science Fiction; Apocalypse; Post-Apocalypse; Popular Fiction; Sociology of Literature; Bibliometrics

Volume 7, Theme: Theme: Cultures of Disasters Edited by Anders Ekström and Kyrre Kverndokk, Article 4, 2015

Author:
Jerry Määttä
Title:
Keeping Count of the End of the World: A Statistical Analysis of the Historiography, Canonisation, and Historical Fluctuations of Anglophone Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Disaster Narratives:
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1572411
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  • Volume 7, Theme:: Theme: Cultures of Disasters Edited by Anders Ekström and Kyrre Kverndokk, Article 4, 2015

    Author:
    Jerry Määttä
    Title:
    Keeping Count of the End of the World: A Statistical Analysis of the Historiography, Canonisation, and Historical Fluctuations of Anglophone Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Disaster Narratives:
    DOI:
    10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1572411
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
    Citations:
  • Andrew Milne & J.R. Burgmann (2017). Climate Fiction: A World-Systems Approach. Cultural Sociology, : 174997551772567. DOI: 10.1177/1749975517725670
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