Gwilym Thear - BA (Oxon), MA (Sussex)
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75688
Location: Room 1.24, Bute Building
Apocalyptic narrative in British culture
My research is focused upon an examination of apocalyptic narratives, primarily in film and television, during and since the 1970s.
I argue that the narrative innovation seen in the apocalyptic texts that flourished in that decade challenged some of the basic tenets of what has hitherto been understand as apocalyptic and that these innovative texts have been an important influence upon the ways in which we continue to be affected by contemporary cultural myths of closure, extinction and the end of the world.
Adopting a narratological perspective and considering texts exploring such areas as global pandemic, nuclear war and environmental catastrophe, I seek to challenge the presumed eschatological nature of apocalypticism by defining it as something more transitional, transformational and, occasionally, something rather more positive.
Supervisors: Dr Matt Hills
I have taught on the following undergraduate modules: History and Theory of Mass Communication; Textual Analysis; Academic Study; Doing Media Research; Popular Culture; War, Politics and Propaganda.
Apocalyptic theory; eschatology; closure; narrative theory; narrative psychology; 1970s culture; risk; fear; subcultures, the self-sufficiency movement; nuclear criticism; millennialism; temporality; uchronic texts.
Cultural Theory Reading Group
The Cultural Theory Reading Group meets weekly in the Graduate Centre to discuss leading cultural theorists and movements.
So come along and join us - contact email@example.com for details of the group and the next meeting.
Selected Conference Papers
‘Survivors and the Self-Sufficiency movement’, paper presented at the Liverpool Hope University Centre for Millennial Studies Conference, 14th July 2007.
‘Not the end: challenging closure in (post)-apocalyptic narrative’, paper presented at NarrativEncounters, University of Cork, 15th February 2008.
‘The self-sufficiency movement and the apocalyptic image in 1970s British culture’, paper presented at 1970s British Culture, University of Portsmouth, 3rd July 2008. Available online at: http://www.1970sproject.co.uk/events/papers/gwilym-thear.pdf
‘Valorising the novelisation: the afterlives of ‘Terry Nation’s Survivors’, paper presented at Science Fiction Across Media: Adaptation/Novelisation, University of Leuven, 28th May 2009.
‘28 years later: watching Survivors in the 21st Century’, in O’Donnell ed., Small Screen Revelations: apocalypse and prophecy in contemporary television (forthcoming, 2009) Sheffield: Phoenix Press.
‘Self-Sufficiency and Apocalyptic Television’, in Forster & Harper eds, Culture and Society in 1970s Britain: The Lost Decade (forthcoming, 2009) Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
‘Year Zero in Surbiton: the apocalyptic comedy of The Good Life’. Address given to a one-day symposium and workshop on 1970s British Comedy, University of Basel, Switzerland, 15th May 2009.