Apocalypse Now and Then

Simpson Colloquium SC 101 – Apocalypse Now and Then

Visions of the end of the world reveal humanity’s deepest fears and greatest aspirations. These visions portray perspectives on the purpose of life and human responsibility for its perpetuation or destruction. In this class, we will consider views of the apocalypse from the Bible to the present, through the media of music, art, film, and especially literature. We will explore how apocalyptic visions are appropriated by later cultures and individuals, and what these accounts suggest about the hopes and concerns of their respective contexts. For example, we will consider the relationship between the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, and Brooks’ World War Z and greater zombie culture.

Meet Your Professor

Maeve Callan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Religion

I specialize in medieval Christianity, but all aspects of religion and history fascinate me. The more unusual, the better! In particular I focus on saints, heretics, mystics, women, religious diversity, the intersection of “church” and state, and Irish history. Born on an army base in Missouri to Irish immigrants, I have lived in Connecticut, Illinois, California, Wyoming, Utah, and Ireland before moving to Iowa, which I am very happy to call home.

After graduating from Pomona College (B.A., Religion), a small liberal arts college like Simpson, I attended Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland (M.Phil., Women’s Studies). I then took a couple of years off from academia, splitting my time between San Francisco, California, and Dublin, Ireland, before returning to where my life began, in the American Midwest. I earned my M.A. and Ph.D. in Religion at Northwestern University, with a focus on Irish saints and heretics. A revised version of my dissertation, The Templars, the Witch, and the Wild Irish, should be out this fall, published by Cornell University Press. In addition to Northwestern, Trinity, and Pomona, I have attended Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley, and Georgetown University. I really love to learn, and am so glad I’ve managed to make a career out of it!

I live in Des Moines with my husband and our two sons. Most of my free time is spent enjoying life with them, which may include appreciating nature, playing games, reading countless books, listening to or making music, and travelling throughout the world. We’ve got to explore and enjoy it all before the apocalypse (whichever variation of the apocalypse that might be)!

Meet Your SC Leader

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Sarah Hayes

Hello! My name is Sarah Hayes and I will be working with Maeve Callen for her Simpson Collioquium class. I am from the small town of Red Oak, Ia (Southwest corner). In high school, I was involved in nearly everything, including theatre, speech, National Honor Society, and a million other things.

When I got to Simpson, I narrowed down my list to ensure at least a few hours of sleep each night. I am currently the President of the sorority Delta Delta Delta, a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Omicron Delta Kappa (both honor fraternities), and math club. I will be a junior this fall with a math major and secondary education minor.

In my free time, I love to dance, knit, watch movies, paint my nails crazy colors, and spend time with my friends and sorority sisters. I also love going to campus and RLC events like Bingo and Quench! One thing you need to know about me is I LOVE COWS! Although I don’t own any actual living creatures, my room is full of them! Professor Callen will probably even make a few references to my small “obsession!”

I came to Simpson because I liked the small college atmosphere and the professors can’t be beat! They are incredibly easy to talk to, ask questions, and they help you when “life happens.” They even worked with me when I had mono during finals week!

​I love to meet new people and learn new things! I want to ensure that everyone has a smooth transition into college life and experience everything that Simpson has to offer. I look forward to meeting you all in June!

Meet Your Writing Fellow

Brock BorgesonBrock Borgeson - Pitching

Hey everyone,

My name is Brock Borgeson and I will be a Junior in the Fall of 2014. I’ll be happy to serve as your Writing Fellow for Professor Callan’s, “Apocalypse Now and Then”, Simpson Colloquium class.

I’m proud to say that I was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois, a suburb in the shadows of the Chicago skyline. Although only a state over, my experience living in Naperville is largely different than at Simpson, giving me a different perspective on how where one is raised heavily influences one’s outlook on society and culture.

I came to Simpson to experience a liberal arts education and to receive direct attention and instruction from professors due to the small class sizes. After much deliberation, I plan on majoring in Public Relations while minoring in Religion. I also wanted to continue playing my America’s true pastime in college: baseball. I pitch for the Simpson baseball team and the Joliet Admirals summer baseball team. You will be hard pressed to find me without a baseball hat on or some other baseball related paraphernalia. Baseball is so much a part of me that I even created my own wiffle ball field and league in my backyard, including 46 of my friends and 6 teams.

I am not your prototypical jock totally focused on sports, as I like to think through deep-issues in life as well. I am totally open to talking with people and having a conversation getting at the deeper things in life. My faith is very important to me and I consider the Bible as my guidebook for life.

Hopefully I’m able to make your transition to college courses and life easier while helping you get acclimated to college writing; I’m sure you’ll do great. Looking forward to meeting you all – Have a great summer!


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