The following are the comments I prepared for the roundtable “The Arts and Humanities Respond to the Anthropocene.” They follow in the line of critical thinking on the Anthropocene initiated by gatherings like the Anthropocene Project (see here, here, and here, and some of the posts at A(S)CENE) and journals like Environmental Humanities. As a cultural theorist, […]
Posts Tagged ‘ecopolitics’
As I think about our Environmental Studies curriculum (I’m Acting Director this semester) and start to think about my Nature and Culture course (which I’ll be teaching in January), I come around to the question of how to conceptualize the fraught relationship between humans and everything else. The Nature and Culture course offers tools for […]
Making sense of what happened at the COP 16 global climate change summit in Cancun is not easy, especially when environmental and climate justice activists seem so intensely divided among themselves (and when the mass media has paid so little attention to it all). Democracy Now yesterday pitted Friends of the Earth’s policy analyst Kate […]
I’m getting ready to head to Spain, where I’ve been invited to give a talk on “green pilgrimage” at the Fourth Colloquium Compostela. Here’s a brief overview of what I’ll be speaking about. Green Pilgrimage: Prospects for Ecology and Peace-Building
An oil spill is a kind of night of the living dead, in which dead organic matter that we have called from its grave rises and strangles the living.
How’s that drill-baby-drilly stuff workin’ out for ya? On the other hand, the violence in détournements like this one is pretty grotesque. I’m even hesitant to link to it, let alone embedding it, for fear of getting my hands too dirty. I don’t think I’d want the guy who made it (no question it’s a […]
The OTE keeps unfolding… Does that thing (between 0:11 and 0:27) know what it is swimming through?? Here’s a good collection of some of the most memorable images (but what’s that awful music?): Does Sarah McLaughlin improve things a little?
I’ve been posting links to Earth Day news in the shadow blog (which you can follow in the column to your right on the Immanence main page). The most interesting news, to my mind, was the initiative for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth and the calls to establish an international climate […]
Posted in EcoCulture, ImageNation, MediaSpace, tagged animism, anthropology, Avatar, cinema, ecopolitics, ecopsychology, film, Hollywood, indigenous, paganism, pantheism on February 15, 2010 | 23 Comments »
It’s been fascinating to watch the unfolding public conversation about Avatar (much of which, come to think of it, my early review had anticipated): environmentalist celebrations of how it portrays the Earth rising up against the megamachine of capitalism and patriarchy; critiques of how the film perpetuates the stereotyping of indigenous people and reiterates tropes of their salvation by white male messiah figures; the Vatican’s and religious right’s denunciations of its pantheism; the film’s advance of technological wizardry into the domain of a virtual hyperreality, like The Matrix but replacing that film’s gnosticism with a pantheistic new age science of networks and neural systems; and debates over the balance struck in the film between good spectacle (the high-tech stuff) and bad narrative (poor writing, flat characterization, stereotypes all over), or between bad spectacle (Spielbergian gee-whiz stuff) and good narrative (such as the film’s allegorization of global capitalism’s destruction of indigenous communities). Film Studies for Free has usefully summarized the various allegorical readings of the film proposed so far, many of which get articulated in conversations and comments by viewers in various blogs, op-ed commentaries, and social networking sites. [more]