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Vol. 5 No. 2 (2022): Dwelling in the Contemporary Condition


  • C. Jason Throop
February 9, 2023


How can we understand a future in which even the dead are no longer safe? What does it mean to be waiting for a future that is experienced as a “coming funeral”? I would like to begin to trace the phenomenological contours of such a mode of existence with a phenomenon that I have been ruminating upon of late, the experience of looming. To do so, I will explore the existential shape of looming by shifting from the pending crisis in Yap State —one of the four States that comprise the Federated States of Micronesia—which first prompted my thinking on the matter, to the still unfolding situation that has brought the phenomenon of looming into much sharper relief: the slow encroachment of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has gradually and unevenly emerged as an unprecedented global event radically reshaping our possibilities for being and being-together in our contemporary historical moment. 2020, much like 2023, is a year defined by its own unique form of looming.