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Archive for the ‘Anthropocene’ Category

My talk at the recent “Apocalyptic Anxieties” conference, at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, is available for viewing at the SFU Institute for the Humanities YouTube page, or below. Here is an abstract of the talk: From the Angel of Apocalyptic History to the Optimism of the Will: Climate Hope within States of Urgency Apocalyptic […]

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When I was younger, I would occasionally hear from fellow environmentalists that the “real problem” was human overpopulation. (The standard answer, from the well informed, was: nope, it’s inequality, extractive capitalism, institutional inertia, patriarchal values, colonialism, et al. “Overpopulation” was a symptom, not the disease.) The population-mongers have mostly faded since then, as the “demographic […]

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Two things to consider before your morning coffee. 1) We are living through a Holocene collapse event,* when the nearly 12,000 year old regime of relative climate stability, the “comfort zone” for most of what we know as human civilization, is beginning to tear to shreds. (Here’s just one of the shreds from yesterday’s news.) […]

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The New York Times’ Raymond Zhong summarizes the latest deliberations on the Anthropocene in an article called “For Planet Earth, This Might Be the Start of a New Age.” The article features some good implicit sociology-of-science: Like the zoologists who regulate the names of animal species or the astronomers who decide what counts as a planet, […]

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Indigenous intellectuals like Kim Tallbear see the current Anthropocene crisis (climate change, etc.) as a continuation and intensification of the kind of thing Indigenous peoples and enslaved Africans (among others) have experienced for centuries. Her thoughts for Indigenous People’s Day, shared on Tallbear’s Substack account, are well worth reading. Describing a “radical hope” that might […]

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Gaia Vince’s Guardian article “The Century of Climate Migration: Why We Need to Plan for the Great Upheaval,” adapted from her forthcoming book Nomad Century: How Climate Migration Will Reshape Our World, is a very good overview of the coming age of mass migrations. It’s also more or less what I’ve been arguing in my […]

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On the Ecocene, the Chthulucene, the Ecozoic, and other Holocene successor terms The term “Anthropocene” has come to be accepted among many intellectuals as the best, or perhaps least worst, name for the geological present, when human activities have come to dominate the planet. It’s still debated among geologists, with “Holocene” or “Late Holocene” preferred […]

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My recent 2022 Mohyla Lecture at the University of Saskatchewan, “The Chɵrnobyl Event: Ecology, Media, and the Anthropocene,” is now available to be watched online. (That “ɵ” in “Chɵrnobyl” is intentional; I discuss it in the talk.) In addition to updating some of my work on the Chɵrnobyl “hyper-event” and its multiple impacts, the talk […]

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Keeping up with the scholarly literature on the Anthropocene, or even on the humanities-relevant Anthropocene, has become a full-time job, and no one I know is paid to do that full-time. (All of the Anthropocene literature is arguably humanities-relevant, but not to the same degree.) To give a sense of the numbers: I counted a […]

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Mark Bould’s new book The Anthropocene Unconscious makes more or less the same argument as I made in my 2008 New Formations article “Stirring the Geopolitical Unconscious: Toward a Jamesonian Ecocriticism,” later expanded in the “Terra and Trauma” chapter of Ecologies of the Moving Image, but he applies it to literature rather than film. The […]

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I’m happy to share my talk from the recent Vermont Humanities conference. It captures the essence of things I’ve been writing and thinking about over the last while. And rather incredibly for a humanities conference, it was 100% glitch-free (despite the talk’s audio-visual intricacies; well, the image fades aren’t perfectly smooth, but those can be […]

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Videos from the Aarhus (Denmark) conference “The Garden and the Dump: Across More-than-Human Entanglements” are available and free for the viewing, here on the conference YouTube channel. They include talks by philosophers Timothy Morton and Michael Marder and a wonderful conversation between Chen Quifan, Alice Bucknell, and Angela YT Chan. My own talk, “Event, Time, […]

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