Art & Art History ETDs


Kathryn Manis

Publication Date



In the contemporary United States apocalypse, dystopia, and catastrophe are commonplace. Indeed, both the increasing presence of fictional apocalypse in art and popular culture and the tone of apocalypticism in U.S. political, environmental, and social rhetorics, have been noted by writers and thinkers from a wide range of fields. Scholars of neoliberalism in particular have traced this popularity to the economic and political realities of late-capitalism and the ideological contradictions embedded in the evolution of capitalism to its current, immersive iteration. What has gone undiscussed, however, is the relationship of this anxious preoccupation to a prevailing, national condition; a condition that responds to the traumatic reality of existence under American' neoliberalism. Using the framework of the apocalyptic riders and the medium of contemporary comics, this thesis demonstrates the legacy of sacred apocalypse in contemporary versions and explicates the ways in which neoliberal economic and political policy have led us back around to apocalyptic ground zero.



Document Type


Degree Name

Art History

Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

Hernandez-Duran, Ray

Second Committee Member

Worden, Daniel

Third Committee Member

Van Ginkel, Tim


neoliberal, neoliberalism, comics, comic books, ideology, U.S., trauma