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Title: The Toba super-catastrophe as history of the future
Authors: Zakaria, Faizah
Keywords: Humanities::History
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Zakaria, F. (2022). The Toba super-catastrophe as history of the future. Indonesia, 2022(113), 31-48.
Journal: Indonesia
Abstract: This article considers Lake Toba’s origins through global science and local folklore to examine how volcanic eruptions in the deep past are accessed, remembered, and understood. The eruption of the Toba volcano circa 73,000 years ago was theorized by some scientists as a “Super Catastrophe” that nearly extinguished the human population. At a local level, folklore of the Toba Batak peoples articulates this disaster in the form of morality tales. In these stories, nature is anthropomorphized as an act of memory to warn against the future impact of wrongful action. This article argues that both historical memories index a history of the future. While seemingly disparate, each narrative— scientific and folkloric—contains a meta-narrative on how the future has shaped our questions of the past and vice versa. In both epistemes, the writing of the distant past emerges with the writing of the future to define ethical choices for the present.
ISSN: 0019-7289
DOI: 10.1353/ind.2022.0002
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: © 2022 Cornell University. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

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