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Archive for the ‘Anthropocene’ Category

Opening the ISSRNC conference on Mountains and Sacred Landscapes with a set of images from anti-pipelines and indigenous solidarity events, Karenna Gore (daughter of Al and founding director of the Center for Earth Ethics) said something that struck me as an evocative distillation of what’s really at stake in the world. The Trump administration’s Inquisition-like demolition […]

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Here’s the abstract I’ve just sent in for the keynote I’ll be giving at the Reassembling Democracy: Ritual as Cultural Resource conference in Oslo in February:

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I recently found myself in a part of Mississauga, Ontario (a bedroom community of Toronto), in which more than 90% of the visible landscape (excepting the sky) appeared to consist of concrete, in the form of pavement, asphalt, buildings, and such. The remaining 5-10% — rows of evenly spaced short trees, shrubs, a few patches of […]

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I’ll be giving the following talk at the “Popular Culture, Religion, and the Anthropocene” workshop at the National University of Singapore this coming week. Navigating the Zone of Alienation: Chernobyl and the Anthropocenic Sublime Abstract:

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This post builds on the previous one on the state of the eco-humanities. Here I focus on the substantive elements for narratives adequate to the Anthropocene. One of the challenges of our time is to learn to tell an adequate story of humanity’s current predicament. Next spring’s Stories for the Anthropocene Festival in Stockholm aims to deal with this challenge. Numerous […]

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This post is the first of a series of reflections on the state of the Environmental Humanities, or Eco-Humanities, and of where this interdisciplinary field might be headed. A note on terminology: The term “Environmental Humanities” has caught on in ways that “Eco-Humanities” and other variations have not, but the debate between them has hardly occurred, […]

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With reality like this, who needs fiction? It’s from Fort McMurray, last week. Harrowing. While the impact of such images is undeniable, the debate over whether and how they are related to climate change is a debate the rest of us should not shy away from.

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McKenzie Wark has written a very provocative piece on the geopolitics of the Anthropocene, or what he calls “The Geopolitics of Hibernation.” A quote: 

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I’ll be giving this talk at the University of Kansas on Thursday. It’ll be exactly two days after the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. And 16 days before the 30th anniversary of Mikhail Gorbachev’s speech about the accident. Pravda (Truth) first reported in any detail on the accident on May 6 and 7. The future of the Soviet […]

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One of the best ways to respond to the Bubble I mentioned in the last post is through the arts. Here’s the poster for my summer course examining artistic responses to the global crisis.

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I’ve been using the metaphor of the Sustainability Bottleneck in my teaching, but another one that is more immediately graspable is The Bubble. Two things landed in my in-box this morning that testify to this (but that’s a pretty daily occurrence, e.g., see this, this, this, this, this, this, and this, all from the past week). One […]

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The Paris climate talks were successful in that they resulted in an agreement that is both better than nothing and better than most of us expected. They were a failure in that even if they are followed to the letter — and there’s no provision for enforcing whether anyone follows them or not — they would […]

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