If catastrophes are, by definition, exceptional events of such magnitude that worlds and lives are dramatically overturned, the question of timing would pose a seemingly straightforward, if not redundant question. The Time of Catastrophe demonstrates the analytic productiveness of this question, arguing that there is much to be gained by interrogating the temporal conceits of conventional understandings of catastrophe and the catastrophic. Bringing together a distinguished, interdisciplinary group of scholars, the book develops a critical language for examining 'catastrophic time', recognizing the central importance of, and offering a set of frameworks for, examining the alluring and elusive qualities of catastrophe. Framed around the ideas of Agamben, Kant and Benjamin, and drawing on philosophy, history, law, political science, anthropology and the arts, this volume seeks to demonstrate how the question of 'catastrophic time' is in fact a question about something much more than the frequency of disasters in our so-called 'Age of Catastrophe'.

chapter |18 pages

When Is Catastrophe?

An Introduction
ByChristopher Dole, Robert Hayashi, Andrew Poe, Austin Sarat, Boris Wolfson

chapter 1|28 pages

Catastrophe's Apocalypse

ByJoseph Masco

chapter 2|28 pages

Law and Community in Fritz Lang's M., BBC's Luther

Permanent Catastrophe?
ByElizabeth Stewart

chapter 5|18 pages

Disaster, Ruin, and Permanent Catastrophe

ByLewis R. Gordon