Worlding beyond ‘the’ ‘end’ of ‘the world’: white apocalyptic visions and BIPOC futurisms

Mitchell, Audra and Chaudhury, Aadita. 2020. Worlding beyond ‘the’ ‘end’ of ‘the world’: white apocalyptic visions and BIPOC futurisms. International Relations, 34(3), pp. 309-332. ISSN 0047-1178 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

We often hear that the ‘end of the world’ is approaching – but whose world, exactly, is expected to end? Over the last several decades, a popular and influential literature has emerged, in International Relations (IR), social sciences, and in popular culture, on subjects such as ‘human extinction’, ‘global catastrophic risks’, and eco-apocalypse. Written by scientists, political scientists, and journalists for wide public audiences,1 this genre diagnoses what it considers the most serious global threats and offers strategies to protect the future of ‘humanity’. This article will critically engage this genre to two ends: first, we aim to show that the present apocalyptic narratives embed a series of problematic assumptions which reveal that they are motivated not by a general concern with futures but rather with the task of securing white futures. Second, we seek to highlight how visions drawn from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) futurisms reimagine more just and vibrant futures.

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This research was supported by the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) program of the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada.


apocalypse, humanity, Black and Afro-futurism, desi-futurism, Indigenous futurism, racialization, whiteness

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


18 August 2020Published Online
September 2020Published

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06 Sep 2021 09:41

Last Modified:

06 Sep 2021 09:41

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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