Questions That Matter

Critical Engagements: Questions That Matter is a collaborative project that makes the academic mission of Central Michigan University concrete by highlighting how our college and university are tackling the world’s most pressing and difficult questions.

Working with community partners, we identify a common annual theme or “wicked problem,” recruit people and teams who work in and around the theme at CMU and beyond, and support investigations that reflect the depth and breadth of a research university committed to the highest standards of scholarship and engagement.

The End of the World (2018–2019)

The theme for the 2018–2019 academic year is The End of the World: Crisis, Turning Points, Renewals. We’ve assembled a team to help us explore a question that has terrified, puzzled, inspired, and fascinated people for centuries, and asked them to reflect on what it means right now. Topics we’re pursuing include:

  • Declines, falls, and disappearances of civilizations, societies, and cultural worlds
  • Politics and the end(s) of democracy
  • Apocalyptic themes in literature and culture
  • Religion and eschatology
  • Climate change
  • Pandemics and public health

For more details about events and plans, please join us at the end of the world.