The Rolling Apocalypse of Contemporary History

Introduction: A case study that did not happen

In 2009 a group of scholars met in Lisbon to reflect on the rampant economic
crisis ushered in by the financial collapse in the fall of 2008. The
scholarly mission we undertook was based on a seemingly self-evident
model of contemporary history. We would examine its aftermath, with
special attention to its cultural dimensions. Crisis and aftermath, cause
and effect: it seemed straightforward.
To be sure, there were pesky adjectives attached to the key nouns. Was
the crisis essentially an economic one, or was it better described as financial, and if so what was the significance of the distinction? Or was it primarily political, as, for example, a “quiet coup” of privileged elites (Johnson, 2009; see also Johnson and Kwak, 2010)? As for an aftermath, what makes it cultural? As Raymond Williams (1958) showed well over a half-century earlier, the word and concept culture has been evolving since the early nineteenth century, along with other key terms such as society and industry.

Their mutual evolution has both shaped and reflected changes in the world.
What does culture mean in the early twenty-first century?
I decided to work through such questions in relation to what seemed a
promising case study: the effects of the 2008 economic crisis on the University of California at Berkeley. In 2004 the state provided just over 40 percent of the financial support for the University of California system, or $3.25 billion. For Berkeley, with a total budget of about $1.1 billion, state funding provided $450 million, or 35 percent of its funding. The crisis of autumn 2008 led to a severe drop in state revenues, which were especially vulnerable because of their dependence on the personal income tax. In 2009 state support for the entire system dropped from $3.25 billion to $2.6 billion; in 2010, to $1.8 billion. This meant a severe and sudden drop in university income. The next largest sources were all much smaller than state funding ($300 million in federal funding, $150 million each for student tuition and private fundraising, and between$100 million and $120 million from endowment income) and none of them could come close to filling the gap for the coming fiscal year (Birgeneau, 2011b; Freedberg, 2011; Hoey, 2011). Consequently Berkeley leadership, in partnership with the University of California Office of the President, took immediate, painful measures to
reduce expenditures. These affected everyone on campus through reduced
services, mandatory furloughs (as a way to reduce salaries), reserve fund
raids, and sharp increases in tuition and fees: an 8 percent hike in spring
2009, 30 percent in a second round (fall 2009 and spring 2010), and 10
percent more in fall 2010, for a total increase of nearly 50 percent in just two academic years. Because tuition income remained a source of financial aid, this increase was a net gain for low-income students. For other students, there was no cushion for a sharp, unanticipated increase in the cost of higher education.

In undertaking this case study, I had assumed that the cultural aftermath
most relevant to the Berkeley campus would be that of campus activism,
which had emerged so noticeably during the loyalty oath controversies of
the 1950s and the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s (Kerr, 2001–3).
Unsurprisingly, given this cultural context, these efforts to reduce expenditures aroused organized protests. While it is common to refer to them as “student protests,” the individuals involved were a mix of Berkeley students, non-Berkeley students, and non-student activists, especially union
members. All of them received encouragement, and more rarely active
participation, from some faculty members, who were overwhelmingly concentrated in a few departments. For students, the primary complaint was the abrupt rise in the cost of their education; a secondary complaint was the reduction in student services, such as library hours. From the unions’ point of view, the primary complaints were layoffs, since union employees were protected from salary reductions in the form of furloughs. Faculty complaints were more generalized, focusing on accusations of administrative
bloat and complicity with business interests.

The methods were familiar from Berkeley’s activist heritage: rallies in
Sproul Hall Plaza, demonstrations outside California Hall (site of senior
administration offices), and building occupations designed to disrupt the
normal campus routine (for example, demonstrators often set off fire
alarms, requiring building evacuations and emergency response). An occupation of Wheeler Hall in November 2009 led campus police to call in
outside, non-university police for assistance, which ended in confrontations
that in turn led to charges of police brutality. Sit-in rallies continued in early December, culminating in a nighttime march by one group of demonstrators, some masked and carrying lighted torches, to the Chancellor’s oncampus residence: they threw rocks at the windows and nearly succeeded
in setting the building on fire. In the spring of 2010 there were further
building occupations, demonstrations at Regents’ Meetings, a hunger strike,
and a “day of action,” which included a march on Sacramento.

These tactics and strategies were familiar ones on the Berkeley campus
and were repeatedly explained and defended as part of “Berkeley culture.”
As a response to the economic crisis, however, they were ineffective. In part this is because protestors’ demands were fundamentally inconsistent. Calls to maintain services, jobs, and salaries required more income, while demands to lower tuition and fees, or even to eliminate them, would further
reduce the income stream, including that directed for financial aid. The
protests also ineffectively targeted campus and system administrators as
culprits, although they had no responsibility for the dramatic drop in university income and were struggling to deal with its consequences. Protestors responded by asserting that university leaders would have adequate financial resources if they just spent them more wisely, and/or if the state legislature could be convinced to fund the University of California system more generously.

These arguments failed to persuade the overwhelming majority of staff,
students, and faculty at Berkeley, who did not rally to the demonstrators,
except for supporting complaints about police actions related to the Wheeler
Hall occupation. Sometimes re-enactment of familiar protest tactics even
aroused pushback if onlookers regarded them as inappropriate for the
situation. At the Regents’ Meeting of November 18, 2009, student protestors
began singing “We Shall Overcome.” Some African American staff members
present at the meeting were outraged at this cooption of a civil rights
anthem to protest fee increases (Birgeneau, 2011c).

Not long after, on December 2, 2009, the forty-fifth anniversary of Mario
Savio’s “Put your bodies upon the gears” speech, which inspired the Free
Speech Movement, a group of Berkeley students and faculty planned to
commemorate the event with speeches on the steps of Sproul Hall. They
were prevented from doing so by demonstrators who wanted to substitute
their causes for “a dead movement.” Instead of letting other students and
faculty speak, the demonstrators repeated in unison some lines from Savio’s
speech. The irony was not lost on those who had planned the commemoration,
who felt their right to free speech had been overturned, nor on
observers such as a newspaper reporter who commented that:
The demonstration . . . showed continued confusion over the issues. Signs held by the protesters addressed everything from fee hikes to minority enrollment, and several aimed anger at the UC regents—but not at the Legislature, governor or voters, all of whom have a more significant say in how much money the university receives. (Krupnick, 2009)

Campus protests continued in 2011 but around causes that were increasingly
detached from the economic crisis—for example, demands for amnesty for demonstrators arrested at earlier events, and protests against
alleged police brutality in responding to efforts, inspired by the Occupy
Movement, to pitch tents on campus. Despite a campus-wide tumult caused
by the last of these events in particular, close to two years of protests had no impact in mitigating budget cuts or in arousing broad-based popular support to restore state funding to the UC system.

In the meantime, the institutional budget of Berkeley underwent a revolution. In 2004 state support was the largest source of income for the
university, 35 percent of the total. A long-range budget agreement had
been reached between the university system and the state. In the particular
case of Berkeley, this agreement pledged that by the year 2011 state support
to the campus would total $600 million. When 2011 actually arrived, state
funding for Berkeley was $235 million—$365 million less than had been
promised. Another $15 million will almost certainly be lost because the
state’s revenue projections have not been met.

At the beginning of 2012 state support was the fourth largest source of
university income, contributing only 10½ percent of the operating budget.
External support for research was the largest source of university income (in excess of $700 million), followed by student tuition and fees (approaching $500 million) and private philanthropy (about $315 million). Berkeley still faces an operating budget shortfall of close to $100 million, which it plans to address by again increasing tuition and fees (though on a more modest scale), admitting larger numbers of non-Californian undergraduates (approaching 20 percent of the student body), raiding emergency reserves, and pressing forward with private fundraising and operational savings (Birgeneau, 2011a, b; Freedberg, 2011; Hoey, 2011).
The near-collapse of state support had redefined the character of the
University of California at Berkeley. In a few years it has been transformed
from a “state-supported” university to a “state-located” one (Freedberg,
2011; Hoey, 2011). Berkeley has not so much been “privatized” as been
transformed into a quasi-federal, quasi-private institution, with a residual
but hugely diminished mandate to provide excellent higher education to the
citizens of California. This is not because system and university administrators have sought privatization. On the contrary, they have protested the decline in state support and warned of its results (Birgeneau, 2011a).1 What has been most privatized is the consciousness of the voters of
California. While I was following attention-getting actions on campus, the
most important cultural aftermath was taking place in public opinion.
Longitudinal data assembled by the Public Policy Institute of California
(PPIC) indicate that the economic crisis of 2008 if anything raised public
awareness of the value of education, especially of K–12 but also of higher
education, and reinforced desire to support a strong educational system.
Only support for public safety rates higher than education as a priority for
the state.

This support, however, by no means translates into a conviction that the
cuts in state support are a serious problem for the university system. Voters are willing to consider higher taxes or higher fees to support higher education, but they have strong reservations about whether they are truly necessary to maintain the system. One strong sentiment is that the California system of higher education must accept its fair share of cuts at a time when they are required of all services. Another extremely strong sentiment is that 1 John Searle’s The Campus War (1971) shows how closely events at Berkeley during the past several years repeat those of the 1960s, especially with regard to lack of faculty support for the administration once police are called to campus. the system must get rid of the “waste” that pervades these institutions,
especially the number and compensation of senior administrators.
Finally, and most complex of all, there is a sentiment that, in maintaining
excellence and accessibility, “where there is a will there is a way.” Institutions can remain excellent if they eliminate bureaucracy, overcompensation, and lax supervision. Individuals and families should pay a significant share of the costs of higher education, even when family income is low. (As of early 2012 families earning $80,000 or less pay no tuition.) While campus protestors and the voting public share a conviction that universities could be well run for much less money, the protestors usually want dramatically lower fees, or none at all, while the voters resist anything resembling a “free ride.”

These same voters, however, have strong worries about accessibility to
the university system. In one poll, three-fourths of the voters agreed that
students have to borrow too much to pay for a college education. At the
same time, a majority (55 percent) thought that almost anyone who needs
financial help could get loans or financial aid (40 percent disagreed). The
principle of universal access is strongly approved, and the threats to this
access have voters “very worried” (up from 43 percent to 57 percent
between October 2007 and November 2010). But, along with this strong
fear of being priced out of the market for public higher education, voters
apparently also worry that too-low rates will be taken advantage of by

These findings are complex and fluid, but overall they indicate a sharp
decline in civic consciousness. First, voters have dramatically lost trust in state government, including its ability to plan for the future of California’s higher education system. In a neat if troubling symmetry, the percentage of voters who have some or a great deal of confidence in state government’s planning for higher education, as opposed to those who have very little or none, has reversed in just under three years. Between October 2007 and November 2010, confidence dropped from 57 percent to 40 percent, while little or no confidence climbed from 42 percent to 57 percent.
Second, voters perceive the system of higher education not so much as a
collective good as a consumer commodity. The university system is looked
upon first and foremost as a provider of education that enables young
individuals to have a better economic future. When voters are reminded
of the role of the university system as a research enterprise, by which it plays a critical part in creating economic opportunities, they acknowledge
this role—but their primary view of the university is as an educational
institution. Furthermore, the strong belief that this education remains
accessible to those who appreciate its value assumes that its value is a private benefit, primarily for the ambitious and deserving. Again, the idea that the system of higher education has a collective benefit is weak at best. When this benefit is expressed at all, it is usually defined as an economic one. The idea that public education has non-economic benefits—to create a well informed and thoughtful citizenry as the fundamental basis for democratic self-governance—is nowhere visible (Baldassare et al., 2010; see also Simon, 2011).

Is this still the crisis? Or the aftermath? While such a significant shift of consciousness follows the economic crisis, this does not mean it is an
aftermath that was caused by the crisis. Instead, it may be a revelation of
cultural processes already underway that have been reinforced. State university systems have been the backbone of American higher education in its period of unprecedented expansion after the Second World War. They have
attracted two of every three American college students, including the overwhelming majority of students from poor or modest families. Within three
years of the 2008 economic crisis, even the largest and strongest of the state universities were scrambling to reinvent themselves as quasi-federal quasiprivate institutions, as well as to attract non-state students who would pay higher tuitions. The poorer and smaller public institutions were just trying to survive.

Little did I realize, as I began to follow events at Berkeley, how representative it would be of the American cultural aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008—an aftermath that does not correct the causes of a crisis but rather intensifies them. In the country at large, a human disaster triggered by multiple, systematic deceptions and structural flaws in financial systems, especially in housing financing, has led to . . . layoffs of schoolteachers and librarians.

This is oversimplifying the cause and effect, to be sure, but not by much.
What disasters do, above all, is reveal how things work normally. “One of
the most salient features of severe downturns is that they tend to accelerate deep economic shifts that are already under way.” In this case, the disaster has revealed “with rare and brutal clarity” the sorting out of Americans into “winners and losers, and the slow hollowing-out of the middle class” (Peck, 2011; see my comments on disasters as revelations in Rosalind Williams, 2002).

This astounding non sequitur is not only a California story, not only a
higher education story, and not only an American story. In both the United
States and the European Union, dangerously high national unemployment
has led to calls not for government pump-priming but for austerity budgets
that are likely further to slow already sluggish economic growth, although
such growth is the most plausible source, over time, of higher employment
and balanced budgets. This utterly illogical and self-defeating pattern is
proclaimed to be the “new normal.” What is happening in the USA and
EU today feels like a bewildering fall down the rabbit hole, with no bottom
in sight.

When I realized this, I also realized that the Berkeley case study, or any
case study, would be unproductive without first reviewing the tacit model
with which we began: crisis and aftermath, cause and effect, economic and
cultural. Accordingly, this paper now turns to these questions:
What is the meaning, in today’s world, of the oft-used, under-analyzed
term crisis?
What is the distinction between a crisis and its aftermath? When is a crisis
over and when does the aftermath begin? In this context, what do we mean by culture or cultures? How do individuals and groups perceive, experience, and understand contemporary events as history?
As Master Confucius wisely advises, any effort to bring order to the world
should begin by “rectifying names.”
If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything. (Confucius, 1980 edn: bk 13, v. 3)

Let us begin with the terms crisis and aftermath.

Crisis and aftermath as historical concepts
As soon as the financial world began to quake in the fall of 2008, Americans
tried to provide a label for the event. In American English, one that gained
and still has some traction is “The Great Recession.” This was an exercise
of historical calibration, being a term somewhere between the Great
Rosalind Williams
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:15
Depression of the 1930s and the milder recessions that have regularly
occurred since then. But already we begin to confuse crisis and aftermath,
since depressions and recessions alike are aftermaths of some other triggering
event. In the case of the Great Depression, that event is the Crash of
1929, referring to the stock market crash that occurred in October of that
year. What happened in 2008 was more general, and before long the whole
cluster of events of that fall (a word conveniently serving to describe both
the time of year and the trend of events) was simply summarized as “the
Crisis comes from the Greek word kerein, meaning to separate or cut, to
make fixed, settled, or stated (as, for example, in the expression “a date
certain”). It therefore refers to a sharply defined, climactic event; possibly
dangerous, but in any case decisive.2 The earliest uses of the word, dating
back to the 1500s, are in relation to medical and also astrological events,
which were believed to be closely related. In this context, crisis describes
“the point in the progress of a disease when an important development or
change takes place which is decisive of recovery or death; the turning-point
of a disease for better or for worse . . . ”
In the seventeenth century, “crisis” began to be used in a more general
sense to apply to politics and commerce, as “a vitally important or decisive
stage in the progress of anything; a turning point; also, a state of affairs in
which a decisive change for better or worse is imminent; now applied esp. to
times of difficulty, insecurity, and suspense in politics or commerce.” It is
notable that, in both the medical and more general usages, crisis is defined in
contrast to ongoing progress—initially progress of an illness, and by the
seventeenth century, “of anything.” In other words, the idea, or more
properly the ideology, of progress emerges as the dominant concept of
history at the same time the concept of crisis is beginning to be applied to
history as a sinister episode disrupting the underlying march of progress.
Their dialectic becomes more evident in the nineteenth century, as, for
example, in his much-read translation of Plato published in 1875, Benjamin
Jowett writes: “The ordinary statesman is also apt to fail in extraordinary
crises.” Crisis also began to be used in phrases such as crisis-mongers
(1841) crisis-centre (1898, referring to the Near East), and (as a compliment)
crisis-avoiding (1900).
2 All quotations referring to crisis are from the OED online
(accessed 3 Mar. 2011).
The Rolling Apocalypse
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:15
In the twentieth century, crisis began to displace progress as an ongoing
state of affairs. In the interwar period, new hyphenated versions were
invented and used to define a general state of anxiety: crisis-minded and
crisis-conscious (1938). In 1940 William Empson, in the aptly titled The
Gathering Storm, wrote that “The point is to join up the crisis-feeling to
what can be felt all the time in normal life.” The challenge of crisis-management—
a term first used by Herman Kahn in writing about the danger of
military escalation—became routine. Once the ability to manage crisis becomes
an attribute of political and military leadership, the question arises: is
“normal” history progress or crisis? And if crisis begins to pervade ordinary
history, what is the distinction between crisis and aftermath?
We were a year and a half into our project (I am embarrassed to admit)
before I happened to read in a novel (Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, 2008) that
the English word aftermath relates to agriculture. I had ignorantly assumed it
had to do with mathematics, but, prompted by O’Neill, I looked it up too in
the OED.3 Like crisis, aftermath is first used in English in the sixteenth
century, the earliest use dating from 1523. Also like crisis, aftermath refers
to an organic process: “Second or later mowing; the crop of grass which
springs up after the mowing in early summer.” For example, a 1601 English
translation of Pliny’s History of the World states that “The grasse will be so
high growne, that a man may cut it down and haue a plentiful after-math
for hay.” The sequence is not of cause and effect, but of an organic cycle
whereby a first growth is followed by a second harvest, usually less abundant
and desirable than the first. (Poet Andrew Marvell in 1673: “The aftermath
seldom or neuer equals the first herbage.”)
Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, aftermath, like crisis, developed
additional, more general meanings, as “a state or condition left by a (usu.
unpleasant) event, or some further occurrence arising from it.” Examples of
the “event” range from disappointed love (Coventry Patmore, 1863: “Among
the bloomless aftermath . . . ”), to rebellion (Hartley Coleridge, 1851: “The
aftermath of the great rebellion”). In the twentieth century, the agricultural
origins of the word largely disappeared, as aftermath became applied to great
historical events, especially war (Churchill in 1946 proclaiming that the “life
and strength of Britain . . . will be tested to the full, not only in the war but in
the aftermath of war”).
3 All quotations referring to aftermath are from the OED online (accessed 3 Mar. 2011).
Rosalind Williams
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:15
A similar and dramatic usage comes in John Hersey’s account of the
bombing of Hiroshima, first published in the New Yorker in 1946, as told
through the lives of five survivors. In a new book edition, published thirtyfive
years later, Hersey almost doubles the length of the account by following
the lives of these individuals in subsequent decades. The new second
part is titled “Aftermath.” The possibility of happier outcomes remained
(Martin Luther King, 1958: “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation
of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness”).
For the most part, however, aftermath has more negative connotations,
such as depression or a hangover.
I began to appreciate that tracking only these two words would be inadequate
to understanding their interactive evolution. Any sensitive and
sophisticated approach to language must not make a “fortress out of the
dictionary” (to quote Justice Learned Hand on judicial decision-writing) but
must consider the larger purpose or object that are their context. “It is one of
the surest indexes of a mature and developed jurisprudence not to make a
fortress out of the dictionary,” Judge Hand wrote in a 1945 decision, “but to
remember that statutes always have some purpose or object to accomplish,
whose sympathetic and imaginative discovery is the surest guide to their
meaning” (Liptak, 2011). This context was made clearer for me when, in the
fall of 2010, I was asked to participate in an MIT panel on “communications
in slow-moving crises.” The title of the event struck me as an intriguing
oxymoron: a crisis is supposed to be a sharp and decisive turning point, so
how can this be slow-moving? I puzzled that maybe the self-contradictory
concept of a “slow-moving crisis” points to what Leo Marx (2010) has called
a “semantic void”: a situation when existing language proves inadequate for
new historical conditions, because historical changes outstrip linguistic resources
to express and analyze them. Marx has argued that such a void
existed in the later nineteenth century that began to be filled by the relatively
recent emergence of the word and concept technology.
I began to pay attention to news reports and commentaries on the 2008
crisis that gave particular attention to its slow-moving qualities. My method,
so-called, was entirely impressionistic and could not have been narrower: it
relied mainly on daily reading of the New York Times. Nevertheless, this
extremely limited sampling gave me plenty to ponder about slow-moving
crises and other variants of crisis and aftermath. Almost weekly, columnists
Bob Herbert and Paul Krugman complained that, while the crisis was “over”
by some financial measures, the “real” crisis, which they defined as economic
and most particularly as high unemployment, was not at all over.
The Rolling Apocalypse
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:15
A year after the crash, a New York Times “News of the Week” section was
headlined “The Recession’s over, but not the Layoffs” (Goodman, 2009).
A year and a half after that, in spring 2011 (this time in written and online
versions of Newsweek magazine) former British Prime Minister Gordon
Brown (2011) ominously predicted that, “if the world continues on its
current path, the historians of the future will say that the great financial
collapse of three years ago was simply the trailer for a succession of avoidable
crises that eroded popular consent for globalization itself.”
Also in the spring of 2011—now back to The Times—the ultimately unsuccessful
confirmation hearings of MIT economist Peter Diamond to serve on
the board of the Federal Reserve hinged on the assumption that the economic
crisis still continued. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) questioned:
“Does Dr Diamond have any experience in crisis management? No.” Evidently
crisis management was the new standard of fitness for service on the
Federal Reserve Board (Diamond, 2011).
It was not just the economy. Questions asking “will-this-crisis-reallyever-
be-over?” were raised over and over again in reference to Americanled
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “After four years of war,” wrote the
primary war correspondent for the New York Times from Afghanistan, “the
endgame here has finally begun. But exactly when the endgame itself will
end seems anyone’s guess” (Filkins, 2010). The same kind of question—is
this event over or not?—dominated 2011 commemorations of the tenth
anniversary of 9/11. The official 9/11 Commission Report is subtitled The Attack
from Planning to Aftermath (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks and
Zelikow, 2011) and at least two of the many books about the attack are titled
Aftermath (Botte, 2006; Meyerowitz, 2006).
Similar language, describing seemingly never-ending crises, was used to
analyze environmental disasters that came after the economic crisis: the
Pakistani floods of 2009, the Haitian earthquake in early 2010, the Gulf of
Mexico oil spill that began soon after, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami
in early 2011, and spring 2011 tornadoes and floods in the American South,
Midwest and New England. For example, one report on the Haitian earthquake
crisis—or was it the aftermath?—was titled “The Special Pain of a
Slow Disaster” (Polgreen, 2010).
One consequence of applying the concept of a slow-moving crisis to
economic and military crises as well as supposedly natural ones could be
to naturalize the human-generated processes and characterize them as
unstoppable forces beyond human control—in short, to deny human
agency. But it works in both directions, in that natural disasters can be
Rosalind Williams
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:15
humanized, in acknowledging their partially human origins as well as their
sharply differential human effects. The effects of the Mississippi floods of
spring 2011 on people of modest means—“thousands of backyards are
under water”—was contrasted with the high ground found by “the financial
elites who have built walls around their prosperity, while flooding downstream
markets with torrents of toxic assets” (Carroll, 2011). The eruption of
Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland in spring 2010 was called an “ash shock” in
analogy to an “oil shock” (Jolly, 2011). Most notably, almost immediately
after the partial meltdown of nuclear reactors in Japan following the 2011
tsunami—a prime example of a hybridized crisis, composed of both “acts of
God” and human error—the global economy was more than ever referred to
as being in “meltdown” (Norris, 2011).
By this time it was evident that contemporary discussions of crisis and aftermath
were not only redefining these terms but also generating a set of new
metaphors to describe contemporary history. The historical pattern that kept
being evokedwas one not of logical cause and effect, but rather of aesthetic. In a
sort of collective exercise of free association, an image of fluid flow kept being
repeated: a “spill” (especially in 2010, when the Gulf spill was on everyone’s
mind), a “flood,” an “ash cloud,” or, most persistently, a “meltdown.” At the
back of these images no doubt is that of the falling towers of the World Trade
Center, which seemed to turn into fluid as they collapsed in a cascade.
In all these cases, the locus of vulnerability sets up ever-expanding circles of
trouble,which intersect with those fromother such points, in a newhistorical
pattern of intersecting and mutually reinforcing calamities. One New York
Times essayist gave the name spillonomics to the “natural” human tendency to
underestimate risks such as that of the Gulf oil gusher (Leonhardt, 2011).
Another Times commentator,writing as the spewingwell in theGulf ofMexico
was finally being brought under control, proposed that the oil well was “more
than an environmental catastrophe.” He argued that the spill
has become a festering reminder of the disarray afflicting so many areas of national
life, from the cancerous political culture to the crisis of unemployment to an intractable
war in Afghanistan . . . the imagery insinuated itself into our collective consciousness—
gnawing evidence that something enormous and confounding was still
operative, despite the labors of our brightest engineers and our most expensive
machinery. (Goodman, 2010)
This imagery insinuates itself just as much into collective subconsciousness,
which is arguably more than waking reason, the level of human mentality
where imaginal activity is most active. Across the spectrum of
The Rolling Apocalypse
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:15
consciousness, crisis and aftermath, both “natural” and “human,” are conflated
in the imagistic pattern of relentless waves of damage endlessly reenacting
rounds of destruction.
When these media accounts of contemporary history are read with sensitivity
to tone, allusion, and context, the aesthetic pattern they convey takes
us to a level of culture that Michel Foucault called the “positive unconscious”
of knowledge: an “archaeology” of knowledge, below the level of
conscious discussion, yet shaping that discussion at every moment as takenfor-
granted. As Foucault describes it in The Order of Things [Les Mots et les
choses], such an inquiry focuses on ‘”how a culture experiences the propinquity
of things, how it establishes the tabula of their relationships and the
order by which they must be considered . . . in short, with a history of
resemblance . . . ” (Foucault, 1970).
The contemporary history of crisis and aftermath is a “history of resemblance”
in this sense. As lived experience, this 2008 economic event is perceived
and experienced as part of a network of events that resemble it as a
spreading, damaging spill: this is how contemporary history is experienced,
through the “propinquity” of these “things.” The intersecting episodes of spill
are “normal accidents,” to use Charles Perrow’s term (1984), that collectively
make up the “new normal” of contemporary history. Crisis is no longer a
turning point in history but rather an immanent condition ofhistory, part of its
“normal” working, indistinguishable fromits own aftermath. In that case, the
2008 crisis has had a cultural dimension of intensifying and accelerating
nothing less than the emergence of a new historical consciousness.
History is ultimately an exercise in pattern-making, and, since the late
eighteenth century, the dominant pattern of Western concepts of history
has been that of linear progress. The assumption that humans were dramatically
increasing their material command over non-human nature made it
possible for the first time to imagine that history would no longer be stuck in
cycles of repetition and frustration. Instead, material capabilities would
reshape history into a pattern of gradual but steady social progress. In the
later nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the material means of progress
gradually came to define its goal as well its means—a critical change in the
concept, but one that did not alter the belief that the basic pattern of history
was shaped by a gradually expanding set of human powers (Rosalind
Williams, 2004; see also Rosalind Williams 1993).
In the early twenty-first century,many events of contemporary history are
occurring that do not fit well into this mental model. Belief in historical
progress remains strong, especially when technologicalmachines and gadgets
Rosalind Williams
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:15
are presented as evidence. But, when larger systems are involved—especially
environmental, military, and economic ones—the pattern of contemporary
history associated with themis visualized not as a line but as a pattern of crisis
centers spreading with no end in sight. Each center incorporates its own
aftermath and sets up interference patterns with other spreading centers so
that the problems of thewhole are far greater than the sumof the parts. Just as
technological devices and systems usually accumulate rather than displace
each other, so do conceptions of history that are so closely related to these
devices and systems. Historical progress and historical crisis, linear pattern and
network pattern, coexist as explanations of the contemporary world.
This coexistence of conflicting historical patterns presents a fundamental
contradiction in contemporary thinking about history. To return to the New
York Times, there is no better example of this than columnist Thomas Friedman,
who in 2006 published a best-selling “brief history of the twenty-first
century” entitled The World is Flat, emphasizing great opportunities for
humankind on a flat earth. In 2008 Friedman published The World is Hot,
Flat, and Crowded: Why we Need a Green Revolution and how it Can Renew
America. In 2011 he published an op-ed piece titled “The Earth is Full,”
warning of the intersecting loops of population growth, global warming,
food price rises, oil price rises, and political instability. In this latest appraisal,
Friedman warns, “We will not change systems . . . without a crisis. But don’t
worry, we’re getting there.” As we head for a “crisis-driven choice” (here
Friedman cites the authority of Paul Gilding, a “veteran . . . environmentalist-
entrepreneur”), humans will manage to find their way to a new sustainability
rather than global collapse (Friedman, 2006, 2008, 2011).
The earth is flat and it is full. Its saviors are environmentalists and also
entrepreneurs. The historical lifeworld is driven by crisis, but a new sustainability
is just over the horizon. These confused and conflicted ways of
imagining the patterns of contemporary events emerge from new historical
conditions where human demands on the planet are far greater than can be
sustained, but where the dominant ideology of capitalist accumulation
through technological innovation only intensifies the crisis.
History as lifeworld
In Foucault’s words, we are trying to understand “the same ground that is
once more stirring under our feet” (Foucault, 1970: p. xiv). How is it the
The Rolling Apocalypse
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:15
same, and how is it stirring? Or, to ask the question of contemporary history
that Leo Marx asks of technology, what are the new conditions of the world
that give rise to the need for new words and concepts to apprehend and
analyze them?
In The Order of Things Foucault remarks that he rejects “the phenomenological
approach, which gives absolute priority to the observing subject,”
when this “leads to a transcendental consciousness.” Instead of a “theory of
the knowing subject,” he seeks a “theory of discursive practice” (Foucault,
1970: p. xiv).
Admittedly there is a long way between the highly selective and impressionistic
evidence presented above—basically random snippets of the American
mainstream press—and the sweeping hypothesis that cultural concepts
of contemporary history are conflicted between deep-seated beliefs in progress
and a rising tide of crisis events that challenge these beliefs. Placing this
inquiry on a more substantial base of evidence presents a wonderful opportunity
for collaborations of historians and social scientists, especially in
examining “discursive practice.” The tools most important to understanding
contemporary perceptions and experiences of history are those of the humanities
in general and of literary criticism in particular. Word counts and
linguisticmaps would be helpful, but these exercises are incomplete. Discerning
patterns of contemporary history requires contextual and imaginative
readings of various sources to reveal the underlying, less-than-conscious
epistemic rules and presuppositions of our epoch.
Also exciting are the possibilities for collaborations of historians and social
scientists in other research that studies history “from the bottom up.” This
vivid spatial metaphor has often been used by historians who seek to study
common people as opposed to elites, and in particular to bring into the
historical account various neglected groups (workers, the colonized,
women, as well as non-human actors). Nevertheless, the assumption persists
that the card-carrying professional historian is the one who is doing the
work of inclusion. In evaluating the hypothesis of conflicting models of
history, we need history from the bottom up in the sense of asking nonhistorians—
people living in history—how they perceive and experience it.
How do they describe and account for both change and continuity in the
world? How to they see themselves in relation to past and future history? In
short, how do they experience their lifeworld as a historical one?
The concept of lifeworld was articulated by early twentieth-century phenomenologists
in order to define the everyday world of experience that
precedes and grounds scientific inquiry. In 1936 Edmund Husserl describes
Rosalind Williams
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:15
the distinction in this way: ‘It is so trivial a remark that the truly vivid, truly
lived and truly experientiable world, in which all our life takes place practically,
remains as it is . . . and remains unchanged by the fact that we invent a
special art called physics” Husserl ([1936] 1976: 50–1).
In distinguishing semi-conscious, common-sense experience from the
abstract approaches of scientific reflection, Husserl is also making a value
judgment. He believes the lifeworld, in all its richness and complexity and
even confusion, should be valued over the derivative and in his view more
desiccated scientific models derived from it. When so much effort is put into
a scientific explanation of the world, the grounding facts of daily and active
participation in it are forgotten. Husserl believed that this diversion of
attention was nothing short of a crisis—“the crisis of European sciences,”
which is causing ongoing damage to the lifeworld itself (for commentary on
Husserl and phenomenology, see Abram, 1996: 40–1 andWelton, 1996: 303).
The word history could be substituted for physics, as a “special art” that
implicitly assumes a “truly lived and truly experientiable” world, preceding
and grounding the work of historians. The practical consequences are twofold.
First, the inquirer seeking to apprehend the world, as lifeworld must
include evidence through all the senses and forms of cognition, both conscious
and less-than-conscious. Second, the validity of lifeworld evidence is
evaluated through intersubjective experiences of people in it. Not a priori
reasoning but repeated, fundamental human activities (such as creating and
using language and social institutions) provide ongoing reality checks of
shared experience.
Foucault disapproves of “the phenomenological approach” because it
gives “absolute priority to the observing subject,” but this priority is not
necessary. Instead this approach at its best includes, in an integrated and
reflexive whole, the study of the perceiver, who, “from an embodied location,
approaches the world as a lived, horizon[t]al field”, as well as “the act
of perceiving; and the content of the perceived” (Lowe, 1982: 1). In the case
of the historical lifeworld, it is apprehended by “the observing subject,” but
only as the subject is immersed in acts of perception involving discourse and
representation, and only as the subject is engaged with the “content” of
what she perceives. The complexity is that this content is changing as it is
perceived. The historical lifeworld itself has a history. The ground shifts
under our feet.
One of the most common ways of describing the contemporary historical
lifeworld, in contrast to earlier ones, is that the rate of change is speeding up.
As concepts of history as linear progress evolved in the nineteenth and early
The Rolling Apocalypse
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:16
twentieth centuries, more and more attention was given to “technological
change” as a descriptor of historical progress, as opposed to more general
social change. The rate of social progress might continue to be gradual, but
in the technological sphere what Henry Adams called “the law of acceleration”
seemed to rule. In his autobiographical The Education of Henry Adams,
this eminent American historian—a founder and the first president of the
American Historical Association—sketched out this “law,” using back-ofthe-
envelope calculations to conclude that exploitation of new sources of
energy was causing historical change to speed up, a sort of collective stepping-
on-the-gas-pedal effect. Adams (1918) was careful not to claim this as
progress, but he did emphasize it was a sequence with immeasurable significance
for humankind.
If anything, Adams underestimated the acceleration effect by focusing on
energy. Other historians since him have shown that many other material
processes exhibit a dramatic “hockey stick” upward break, beginning at the
same moment Adams was writing in the early years of the twentieth
century: dramatic accelerations of population, industrial production,
resource consumption, species extinctions, and other many other measures
of human activity affecting the entire planet (McNeill, 2000).
It took twentieth-century historians some time to appreciate how much
the tempo of natural history was being sucked into the accelerating pace of
human history. Historians of the Annales School in the interwar period
brought into the study of history “from below” events of la longue dure´e—
collective, long-term changes in the material conditions of life, taking place
largely below the level of human consciousness. Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie,
for example, in 1968, wrote what is often regarded as a crowning achievement
of the Annales School in the form of a study of the peasants of
Languedoc in which the protagonist is an agrarian cycle lasting three centuries.
The cycle is followed through massive evidence accumulated from
land tax registers, grain prices, population registers, changes in literacy, and
many other measures. Annales historians contrasted slow-acting events
(changes in climate, soil productivity, population, and similar factors) with
the more rapidly unfolding histories of conjuncture (social and political
change on a scale of two or three centuries) and e´ve´nement (of courte dure´e,
discernible within a human life span, including people with names and
events that take place within one lifetime) (Le Roy Ladurie, 1976; see also
McCants, 2002; Long, 2005).
At the same time the Annales historians were bringing the natural world
into human history, the “hockey stick” material changes were creating a
Rosalind Williams
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:16
historical lifeworld in which previously longue dure´e events might now take
place within a human lifetime. Far from being the unnoticed backdrop to
human history, such changes are arousing a high degree of both individual
and collective attention. In the terminology of the founding Annales historians,
a crisis would by definition be applied to historie e´ve´nementelle: a sharp
and sudden turning point in history. Now environmental crisis is a common
name for events measured in decades rather than centuries.
This was not the lifeworld of fifth-century BCE Greece, when the concepts
and practices of history were first articulated. The inventors of historie¯ as
research or inquiry assumed a planet providing a stable, durable, and predictable
home for the relatively transient, frail, and contingent accounts of
human deeds and words. The time constant of human history seemed vastly
different from that of natural (in the sense of non-human nature) history.
The contemporary historical lifeworld is utterly unlike that of the Greeks,
and also utterly unlike that of the scientific and industrial revolutions,
which assumed that expanding intellectual and material powers would
lead to human mastery over the planet.
Instead, the historical lifeworld emerging in the early twenty-first century
appears to be one of lingering hopes for progress mixed with growing
anxiety about intersecting crises. In this lifeworld, progress becomes more
and more defined as material “change,” which relentlessly accelerates,
rather than social progress, which seems as slow as ever. At the same time
crises keep coming, reinforcing each other and mutating into seemingly
endless aftermaths that are hard to distinguish from the originating crisis.
Many of the subtleties and apparent contradictions among California
voters, I believe, are best understood in terms of this conflicted, unstable
historical lifeworld. The PPIC polling data suggest not so much a split
consciousness as a double consciousness of contemporary history. The pattern
of history as progress is still present and powerful, but so is the pattern
of history as crisis: the two patterns are layered over each other in the
consciousness of many citizens, together providing a compelling template
with which to interpret current events. When contemporary history is
perceived as a pattern of progress, then it makes sense for the individual
(and his family) to invest in higher education, which will lead to a better
economic future, as it has long done in the United States. When history is
perceived as a pattern of intersecting crises, then distrust of institutions in
general becomes detached from any particular circumstances and becomes a
free-floating standing accusation. Even universities, which have long enjoyed
a higher level of civic trust, are pulled into this force field of rolling

mistrust, which is stronger than the perception of benefits from institutions
of higher education.
The coexistence of these two patterns of perceiving contemporary history
also helps to explain the coexistence of two wildly different narrative
threads that dominate discussion of higher education today, including
many concerning the University of California. One thread expresses the
generalized distrust of universities as institutions because all institutions
are corrupt, unfair, and bloated. They cater to spoiled faculty with high
salaries, undeserved raises, and short hours; they hire too many pricey
administrators; they are not run like a business; they are mired in bureaucracy;
they are stuck in old models of teaching, failing to innovate with
educational tools; and so on and so on. On the other hand—and here the
California polling data are compelling—most parents desperately want their
children to have access to these institutions, as do most of the children
themselves. Americans consider it as a high privilege to be able to attend
most American colleges and universities, and, in the case of public ones,
very much fear any decline in accessibility and affordability.
This contradiction is too deep to be chalked up only to confusion, misinformation,
or magical thinking, though all three are certainly present. The
contradiction is deep because it arises from the challenge of recent events to
belief in a historical pattern of progress, which has given rise to beloved but
now threatened narratives of progress. The collective problems of American
society are far too numerous and interlocking to be solved through individual
efforts. Yet there is no trust in collective effort, when all institutions are
perceived as corrupt, ineffectual, or both. The perceived inability to create
institutions that could be trusted was a cause of the economic crisis. The
crisis has reinforced this lack of trust, not as an aftermath but as a transformation
of an economic crisis into a crisis of democracy.
History cannot continue as social progress without collective efforts. Are
we doomed to see history transformed into a network of mutually reinforcing
crises? The need to understand the pattern of history is much stronger
than an opinion or mood. It forms the basis for a sense of predictability in
life. This is a conservative instinct, in the pre-political sense, which is
necessary for survival and adaptability in a world of loss and change.
When the sense of predictability is fundamentally threatened, when it
appears that history is not working the way it used to, individuals react
intensely, if inconsistently. What the polling data rarely reveal is this intensity:
for this, qualitative research and interpretation are crucial, as well
as attention to the aesthetic and narrative dimensions of accounts of

contemporary history (Marris (1974] 1986; on the intensity of economic
passions, see Rosalind Williams, 1982; Latour and Le´pinay, 2008).
Conclusion: The sense of an ending
The timescale of history began to expand in the nineteenth century with
archaeological and anthropological discoveries of what came to be called
prehistory (a term introduced to common use by John Lubbock’s Prehistoric
Times, published in 1865). About the same time, the deep future of history
began to be contemplated, as scientific theories of entropy made it possible
to imagine a distant “heat death” of the universe. History might be accelerating
for the time being, but it began to appear that in the end—the far
end—everything would run down and run out (Smith, 1998; see also
Brush, 1967). In both directions, universal history was assuming a timescale
that no longer had a reasonable fit with the human history, especially not
with the six millennia or so associated with Christian prophecy.
Since then, human history has even further lost its moorings compared to
universal time. While the discovery of deep time is one of the most exciting
intellectual adventures of humankind, this excitement is not symmetrical in
both directions (RosalindWilliams, 1990: 22–50). For the future, at least, deep
time becomes increasingly surreal and frightening. Toward the end of the
twentieth century, evidence of mysterious dark energy suggested that the
expansion of space might continue to the point where galaxies would no
longer be able to transmit their light to each other. Both past and future
would fall beyond the edge of detection, and any sentient creatures that existed
would be trapped in the cosmic equivalent of a silent grave (Greene, 2011).
In his lectures (and subsequent book) on The Sense of an Ending, Frank
Kermode emphasizes the importance of this expansion of time to modern
literature. Any writer is speaking to fellow humans who find themselves—
ourselves—in the “middest.” We need to “sense” an ending and we also
need it to “make sense.” This is true both for our individual and for our
collective stories, for it is always our ending that is in view when we think of
history’s end (Kermode, [1966] 2000). Once the scale of time gets beyond a
length measurable in human generations, a new burden is put on literature
to provide this sense.
The same is true for history. The story of history does not have to be a
grand narrative, or even a narrative or story at all in the usual sense of the

word. But what history unavoidably has in common with fiction is pattern,
sequence, organization. The most quantitative and data-driven historical
research still implies pattern, because its basic questions imply shape
and order: what changes and what continues over time. A phenomenological
study of our historical lifeworld has to address the question of “what
comes after,” for the “content” of a lifeworld includes not only countless
daily material interactions but also such unavoidable speculations about
the meaning of it all. A crucial dimension of a lifeworld is its horizon.
There is always an edge to it, and a constant, strong human desire is to
look beyond the edge. In this sense, the transcendent is always part of a
Kermode reminds us that human storylines have typically included three
alternatives: salvation, endless cycles, and destruction. All of these arguably
have a place in contemporary concepts of history. The prospect of salvation
is evident both in Christian versions of the rapture, or Second Coming, and
in similar visions in other faiths. It is also present in the secular vision of
progress, which posits a happy if far-off goal to which history moves. The
time of everlasting cycles, which Kermode names aevum, is that of generation
after generation of human beings learning from, imitating, and repeating
the preceding one, in a form of duration that is not immortal but is still
lasting—the generative cycle in which creatures (not only human ones)
perpetuate their kind in their own kind of eternity (Kermode, [1966] 2000:
79; for more on aevem, see also pp. 67–89). In a world where progress seems
to be generating crisis, the vision of everlasting cycles has been revived in
the concept of sustainability.
And then there is destruction, in its religious version of apocalypse and
secular version of a convergent, culminating crisis. In Kermode’s analysis
crisis is no longer imminent—on the historical horizon—but immanent.
Crisis has invaded and become caught up with ongoing history: ‘the older,
sharply predictive apocalypse, with its precise identification, has been
blurred; eschatology is stretched over the whole of history, the End is
present at every moment . . . (Kermode, [1966] 2000: 26).
As crises multiply and converge, crisis-as-episode begins to evolve into
crisis-as-final-destruction-of-the-lifeworld. The far horizon of history draws
nigh. Each particular crisis begins to forebode the larger end.
Nothing is more routine than a crisis of capitalism. All crises have their
unique features, and they are all devastating in human terms—but nothing
is more predictable; and in intellectual terms, these crises are even boring, in
the sense that each one only reminds us yet again how capitalism works and

how it is so prone to breaking down. Why should we pay special attention to
this crisis? Why set up a special group to explore its implications?
I propose that our less-than-conscious motivation for doing so was
“a sense of the ending”: a sense that this crisis is not routine, but one of
many whose reinforcing interactions are reshaping the historical lifeworld.
We know that human empire, like earlier more limited empires, will not last
forever. The balance between current rates of human population growth
and resource use, on the one hand, and planetary resources, on the other,
is unsustainable. Yet the scenario of sustainability does not seem present
and real. The scenarios that are much more plausible are daunting and
frightening: climate change, nuclear warfare, pandemics, scrambles for
water and food.
That is because such scenarios are already part of our historical lifeworld.
Rather than suggesting a future apocalypse, they embody a rolling apocalypse.
We already live with images of the end: blown-off mountaintops in
West Virginia, dried-up marshes in southern Iraq, knocked-down neighborhoods
in Beijing, and the constant disappearance of non-human species of
life. It is no longer only untamed savages and untrodden wilderness to
which we bid farewell. All these and many other more ordinary things are
disappearing in a rising tide of loss (Le´vi-Strauss, 1992: 414).
We do not have to wait for the last fish in the ocean to disappear, nor the
last tree in the rainforests to be felled, to imagine their disappearance. We do
not have to imagine that Berkeley will disappear as a great university to
mourn the passing of a Berkeley distinctive for scholarly excellence in
combination with a public mission supported by an idealistic Master Plan.
These features of the world are disappearing as we watch. The end is here
and now and all around us. Human empire is a new historical space and also
a new historical time, suspended between change and eternity, a time
where the end of time is integrated into the present. Time goes on, but it
is constantly re-enacting its end (see Kermode, [1966] 2000: passim). Crisis is
no longer a sharply defined episode nor a final cataclysm. It is an indwelling
condition, containing its own aftermath, which increasingly dominates the
historical lifeworld.
In such a world, the language of fiction is not a distraction but an
irreplaceable source of insight into cultural manifestations of historical
change—not superficial but fundamental change. When the novelist
Haruki Murakami (2010) tells us that the fiction he writes “is itself undergoing
a perceptible transformation,” because it is being assimilated differently
by Western readers who no longer find chaos unreal, he is presenting
The Rolling Apocalypse
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:16
powerful evidence of cultural change. When he challenges us to “coin new
words in tune with the breath of that change,” he is speaking to everyone,
scholars very much included.
Which brings us to the ending—of this essay—by considering one more
example of the role of imaginative literature in expressing “the sense of an
ending” for human history. This is the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude
(1967) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, hailed upon its publication as a work of
“magic realism” and now existing in a world where the conjunction of these
two words no longer seems illogical. The hundred years of solitude—a
compressed history of civilization—take place in the fictitious town of
Macondo, modeled after the author’s home in Colombia.
Macondo is also the code name of the site of the Deepwater Horizon
drilling rig that exploded in April 2010. (Such code names are routinely
used by oil and gas companies for offshore prospects early in the exploration
effort, both to guard secrecy before sale and later to provide a conveniently
memorable name.) As we know, that story ended in loss of human life, still
uncalculated loss of non-human life and support systems, and only a temporary
interruption of offshore drilling, in an aftermath that simply continues
the crisis.
Garcia Marquez’s story ends with a gale roaring through the cursed
village of Macondo, a “fearful whirlwind” in which the last survivor of the
calamity is “deciphering [the instant that he lived] as he lived it, prophesying
himself in the act of deciphering . . . as if he were looking into a speaking
mirror,” which includes his own approaching death, with no “second opportunity”
for himself or for that world (Ma´rquez, [1967] 1991: 422) In our
work, we decipher our time as we live it, prophesying as we decipher, while
all too aware that the end is all around us.
Abram, David (1996). The Spell of the Sensuous. New York: Vintage Books.
Adams, Henry (1918). The Education of Henry Adams, an Autobiography. Boston and
New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Baldassare, Mark, Bonner, Dean, Petek, Sonja, and Willcoxon, Nicole (2010). “PPIC
Statewide Survey: Californians and Higher Education” (accessed Aug. 18, 2011).
Birgeneau, Robert J. (2011a). “Chancellor Birgeneau’s Fall 2011 Welcome and State
of the Campus Message,” Aug. 26 (accessed Sept. 9, 2011).
——(2011b). “Chancellor Responds to Gov. Brown’s budget veto,” June 16 (accessed June 21, 2011).
—— (2011c). Telephone conversation, June 15.
Botte, John (2006). Aftermath: Unseen 9/11 Photos by a New York City Cop. Location:
Collins Design.
Brown, Gordon (2011). “Connecting the Dots: Take back the Future,” Newsweek,
May 23 and 30: 7.
Brush, Stephen (1967). “Thermodynamics and History: Science and Culture in the
l9th Century,” Graduate Journal, 7: 467–565.
Carroll, James (2011). “Amid Disaster, Community,” Boston Globe, May 23: A9.
Confucius (1980 edn.). The Analects of Confucius, trans. James R. Ware (accessed Mar. 3, 2011).
Diamond, Peter A. (2011). “When a Nobel Prize Isn’t Enough,” New York Times, June
6: A19.
Filkins, Dexter (2010). “In Afghanistan, the Exit Plan Starts with ‘If’,” New York
Times, Oct. 17: 11.
Foucault, Michel (1970). The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences.
New York: Random House.
Freedberg, Louis (2011). “Chancellor: UC Berkeley Morphing into Federal University,”
California Watch Daily Report, Feb. 23.
Friedman, Thomas L. (2006). The World is Flat. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
—— (2008). The World is Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why we Need a Green Revolution and
how it Can Renew America. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
——(2011). “The Earth is Full,” New York Times, June 7: opinion page.
Goodman, Peter S. (2009). “The Recession’s over, but not the Layoffs,” New York
Times, Nov. 8: News of the Week in Review, 3.
——(2010). “A Spill into the Psyche,” New York Times, July 18: News of the Week in
Review, 1.
Greene, Brian (2011). “Darkness on the Edge of the Universe,” New York Times, Jan.
16: opinion page.
Hoey, Robin (2011). “Staff Assembly Digests Chancellor’s Stark Campus Update,”
Berkeley NewsCenter, May 25.
Husserl, Edmund ([1936] 1976). Die Krisis der europa¨ischen Wissenschaften und die
transzendentale Pha¨nomenologie, in Gesammelte Werke, vi. The Hague: Martinus
Johnson, Simon (2009). “The Quiet Coup,” Atlantic, May (accessed XXX).
The Rolling Apocalypse
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:16
Johnson, Simon and Kwak, James (2010). Thirteen Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover
and the Next Financial Meltdown. New York: Pantheon.
Jolly, David (2011) “Volcanic Ash Closes Airports in Berlin and Other German
Cities,” New York Times, May 25 (accessed XXX).
Kermode, Frank ([1966] 2000). The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction
(with a New Epilogue). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kerr, Clark (2001–3). The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of
California, 1949–1967. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Krupnick, Matt (2009). “Protesters Shut down Free Speech Movement Tribute,”
Contra Costa Times, Dec. 3.
Latour, Bruno, and Le´pinay, Vincent Antonin (2008). The Science of Passionate Interests:
An Introduction to Gabriel Tarde’s Economic Anthropology. Location[HW1] :
Prickly Paradigm Press.
Le Roy Ladurie, Emmanuel (1976). The Peasants of Languedoc. Location: publisher
[HW2]. (Published in French in 1968.)
Leonhardt,David (2011). “Spillonomics:Underestimating Risk,”NewYork Times,May 31.
Le´vi-Strauss, Claude (1992). Tristes Tropiques, trans. John and Doreen Weightman.
New York: Penguin.
Liptak, Adam (2011). “Justices Turning More Frequently to Dictionary, and not just
for Big Words,” New York Times, June 12.
Long, Pamela O. (2005). “The Annales and the History of Technology,” Technology
and Culture, 46/1 (Jan.), 177–86.
Lowe, Donald M. (1982). History of Bourgeois Perception. Chicago: University of Chicago
McCants, Anne E. C. (2002). “There and Back Again: The Great Agrarian Cycle
Revisited,” EH.Net Economic History Services, Dec. 12 (accessed XXXX).
McNeill, J. R. (2000). Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the
Twentieth-Century World. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company.
Ma´rquez, Gabriel Garcı´a ([1967] 1991). One Hundred Years of Solitude, trans. Gregory
Rabassa. New York: HarperPerennial.
Marris, Peter ([1974] 1986). Loss and Change. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Marx, Leo (2010). “Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept,” Technology
and Culture, 51/3 (July), 561–77.
Meyerowitz, Joel (2006). Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive. London: Phaidon Press.
Murakami, Haruki (2010). “Reality A and Reality B,” New York Times, Nov. 29:
opinion page.
National Commission on Terrorist Attacks and Zelikow, Philip D. (2011). The 9/11
Commission Report: The Attack from Planning to Aftermath (Authorized Text, Shorter
Edition). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Rosalind Williams
Comp. by: PG1891 Stage : Proof ChapterID: 0001516477 Date:6/3/12 Time:12:28:16
Norris, Floyd (2011). “Japan’s Meltdown and the Global Economy’s,” New York
Times, Mar. 18.
Peck, Don (2011). “Can the Middle Class Be Saved?”, Atlantic, 308/3 (Sept.), 63.
Perrow, Charles (1984). Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies. New York:
Basic Books.
Polgreen, Lydia (2010). “The Special Pain of a Slow Disaster,” New York Times,
Nov. 11: F1.
Searle, John (1971). The Campus War: A Sympathetic Look at the University in Agony.
New York and Cleveland: World.
Simon, Jason (Director, Marketing and Communications Services, Office of the
President, University of California) (2011). Telephone conversation, Aug. 17.
Smith, Crosbie (1998). The Science of Energy: A Cultural History of Energy Physics in
Victorian Britain. London: Althone.
Welton, Donn (1996). “World,” in D. Borcher (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy Supplement.
Basingstoke: Macmillan Reference.
Williams, Raymond (1958). Culture and Society, 1780–1950. London: Chatto &
Williams, Rosalind (1982). Dream Worlds: Mass Consumption in Late Nineteenth-Century
France. Berkeley and Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press.
—— (1990). Notes on the Underground. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
—— (1993). “Cultural Origins and Environmental Implications of Large Technological
Systems,” Science in Context, 6/2: 377–403.
—— (2002). “A Technological World we can Live in,” Technology and Culture, 43/1
(Jan.), 222–6.
—— (2004). “An Historian’s View,” in Manuel Castells (ed.), The Network Society:
A Cross Cultural Perspective. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.