Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic genres challenge our notions of Aristotelian mimesis vs Anti-mimesis – i.e., In the study of the human condition, does life imitate art or art imitate life? Popular culture, then and now, provides us with examples to depict the circularity of these notions and the psychological importance of exploring this aspect of human nature, particularly the contemplation of our own collective demise. While we recoil in horror at the images these genres portray, we are also morbidly fascinated by them, and we can’t help but ask ourselves . . . Could that really happen? Will that happen?

Comment. Two intellectual traditions help further enlighten as to “The Psychology of Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Stories”. The first is that of the philosopher Martin Heidegger’s Dasein wherein all of us are each thrown into a facticity including the unexpected and the inevitability of death. The unexpected follows the death of what came before. Death varies by various nothings and somethings. The second is that of the neo-psychoanalyst Melanie Klein’s paranoid-schizoid position. This denotes refers to anxieties, ego defenses, and interpersonal relations arising in the earliest months of life and continuing in various degrees into childhood and adulthood.

Guest Biography

Dr. Donna Roberts is an Associate Professor and Department Chair for Social Sciences and Economics in the College of Arts & Sciences. She is an active fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a member of the ERAU Jack R. Hunt Society. Donna has been with Embry-Riddle since 2003 and held positions including Dean of Academic Affairs-International Region, Regional Associate Dean-European Region, Center Faculty Chair-Northern Italy, Discipline Chair of Sociology & Psychology and the Associate Discipline Chair of Social Sciences and Economics.

Dr. Roberts' research interests encompass various areas of psychology and education, including personality, consumer psychology, media psychology, generational studies, learning styles and the intersection between psychology and the arts.

Dr. Roberts resides in Europe. In her free time she enjoys writing, traveling, reading, and quilting. She is an avid supporter of human and animal rights.