21 December 2012 was believed to mark the end of the thirteenth B'ak'tun cycle in the Long Count of the Mayan calendar. Many people believed this date to mark the end of the world or, at the very least, a shift to a new form of global consciousness. Examining how much of the phenomenon is based on the historical record and how much is contemporary fiction, the book explores the landscape of the modern apocalyptic imagination, the economics of the spiritual marketplace, the commodification of countercultural values, and the cult of celebrity.
Preface Michael D. Coe, Yale University 1. Introduction Joseph Gelfer 2. The 2012 Phenomenon: New Uses for an Ancient Mayan Calendar Robert K. Sitler, Stetson University 3. Maya Prophesies, 2012 and the Problematic Nature of Truth Mark Van Stone, Southwestern College 4. Mayanism Comes of (New) Age John W. Hoopes, Kansas University 5. The 2012 Milieu: Hybridity, Diversity and Stigmatised Knowledge Peter Lentini, Monash University 6. Chichen Itza and Chicken Little: How Pseudosciences Embraced 2012 Kristine Larsen, Central Connecticut State University 7. Roland Emmerich's 2012: A Simple Truth Andrea Austin, Wilfrid Laurier University 8. The 2012 Movement, Visionary Arts and Psytrance Culture Graham St John, University of Regina 9. In a Prophetic Voice: Australasia 2012 Joseph Gelfer 10. Approaching 2012: Modern Misconceptions vs. Reconstructing Ancient Maya Perspectives John Major Jenkins, independent scholar