Through a Glass Darkly Symposium

The study of humankind's fascination with the apocalyptic is a vast field, and has increased in interest over the last three decades with the approach and passing of the start of a new millennium. It is a subject that spans cultures, religions, time and space, and one that resists easy categorical definition. In Through a Glass Darkly, scholars and artists gather each year to deliver presentations and engage in dialogue at the Heller Center for Arts & Humanities on the campus of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. The 2019 presenters include Christopher Adler (University of San Diego), Ian Boxall (Catholic University of America), Joanna Demers (University of Southern California), Lorenzo DiTommaso (Concordia University Montreal), Amy Frykholm, Katherine Guinness (UCCS), Colin McAllister (UCCS), Dorothea Olkowski (UCCS), Brett Whalen (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), and musicians Pablo Gómez and the Veronika String Quartet.

Through a Glass Darkly was founded in 2015 and is directed by Colin McAllister from the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. In 2018, Lorenzo DiTommaso of Concordia University Montreal joined as Co-Director. Through a Glass Darkly is generously underwritten by the UCCS Humanities Program, the Heller Center for Arts & Humanities, the UCCS Department of Visual and Performing Arts, the UCCS Department of History and the UCCS Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life. 

All events take place at the Heller Center for the Arts & Humanities unless noted.


**All events take place at the Heller Center for the Arts & Humanities unless noted**

Friday, 15 March 2019

12:15pm - 1:30pm
Joanna Demers (University of Southern California)
The Apocalyptic Utopia of Edward Gibbon's New Jerusalem
**presented in conjunction with Third Friday Colloquia: Essays in Music

Monday, 18 March 2019

3:45pm - 4:30pm
Christopher Adler (University of San Diego)
Aeneas in the Underworld: a realization of apocalyptic narrative in music

4:30pm - 6:00pm
Opening Reception

7:30pm - 9:00pm
Concert (Chapman Foundations Recital Hall, Ent Center for the Performing Arts)
Christopher Adler - Aeneas in the Underworld (world premiere) featuring Colin McAllister, guitar and narrator with Pablo Gómez Cano, guitar and the Veronika String Quartet
Translations by Khang Le (Colorado College)

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

9:30am - 10:00am
Coffee and Pastries, Meet and Greet

10:00am - 10:15am
Welcome and Introduction (Colin McAllister)

10:15am - 11:00am
Katherine Guinness (UCCS)
Do You Really Want to Live Forever?: Collectivity, Chronology, Catastrophe   

11:00am - 11:45am
Brett Whalen (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Joachim of Fiore and the Apocalyptic Revival of the Twelfth Century 

11:45am - 12:30pm
Amy Frykholm
A Dress Rehearsal for the Apocalypse: Christian Zionism and the Prosperity Gospel in Global Christianity

12:30pm - 2:00pm
lunch in the Heller atrium

2:00pm - 2:45pm
Lorenzo DiTommaso (Concordia University Montreal)
The Common Medieval Apocalyptic Tradition

2:45pm - 3:30pm
Dorothea Olkowski (UCCS)
The Transubstantiation (Metousiosis) of the Transhuman (Metouanthró̱pinos): A Change of Substance (Ousia)?

3:30pm - 4:15pm
Ian Boxall (Catholic University of America)
Apocalyptic Sensibility in Renaissance Europe



Joanna Demers is Professor and Chair of Musicology at the USC Thornton School of Music. She researches and teaches classes on contemporary music, philosophy, and intellectual property.

Christopher Adler is a composer and performer in San Diego, California. His diverse composition portfolio is informed by research into the traditional musics of Southeast Asia, mathematics, Russian futurism, and improvisation. He is a leading performer of traditional and new music for the khaen, a free-reed mouth organ from Laos and Northeast Thailand and a pianist for the nief-norf Project, NOISE, and San Diego New Music.

Katherine Guinness is a theorist and historian of contemporary art. She is Assistant Professor and Director of Art History in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Her first book Schizogenesis: The Art of Rosemarie Trockel is forthcoming in Fall 2019 from the University of Minnesota Press. 

Brett Edward Whalen teaches medieval European history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His research explores topics in the political, intellectual, and cultural history of the Christian religious tradition. His previous publications include Dominion of God: Christendom and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages (2009) and The Medieval Papacy (2014).

Amy Frykholm is Associate Editor at The Christian Century and holds a Ph.D. from Duke University. She is the author of four books in religion and culture including Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America (Oxford) and Christian Understandings of the Future: The Historical Trajectory (Fortress).

Dorothea Olkowski is Professor and former Chair of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Director of Humanities, Director of the Cognitive Studies Program, and former Director of Women's Studies. She is the author/editor of ten books and over 100 articles including, Postmodern Philosophy and the Scientific Turn (Indiana University Press, 2012) and The Universal (In the realm of the sensible) (Columbia and Edinburgh University Presses, 2007), and the forthcoming Deleuze, Bergson, and Merleau-Ponty, The Logics and Pragmatics of Affect, Perception, and Creation.

Ian Boxall is Associate Professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of America. His recent publications include The Revelation of Saint John (Black’s New Testament Commentaries; Continuum/Hendrickson, 2006), Patmos in the Reception History of the Apocalypse (OUP, 2013), and The Book of Revelation and Its Interpreters (co-edited with Richard Tresley; Rowman and Littlefield, 2016). 


Colin McAllister is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He engages deeply with cross-disciplinary ideas in the humanities, particularly the intersection between music and history, classics and theology. Forthcoming publications include the Cambridge Companion to Apocalyptic Literature as well as a translation of the Cambridge Glossa in Apocalypsin (Brepols).

Lorenzo DiTommaso is Professor of Religions & Cultures at Concordia University Montreal. He studies apocalypticism from the biblical apocalypses to contemporary apocalyptic manga and anime. Among his current projects is the mediaeval Antichrist, for which he has received a five-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. His new book, The Architecture of Apocalypticism, the first volume of a trilogy, is forthcoming for Oxford University Press.


Heller Center for Arts & Humanities
1250 N. Campus Heights Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918

Colin McAllister


About the Course

HUM 3990: Visions of Darkness: Apocalypse and Dystopia in Literature, Art & Film is a course in the UCCS Humanities program. Taught by Colin McAllister & Michaela Steen, the course addresses a wide range of topics under the general notions of apocalypse and dystopia as manifested in various ways and through a variety of media, including written texts in various genres (prophecy, poems, short-stories, novels), visual art (painting, wood-cuts, tapestry, digital imagery), music and film. The chronological and cultural scope is vast: from the cultures of ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, Israel and Egypt, through Islamic/Jewish and Christian perspectives in the Medieval and Renaissance to the modern day. Throughout the course, students are asked to relate notions of apocalypse and dystopia that have arisen throughout history to current events and perspectives.