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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, […]

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The following is a guest post by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. It continues the Immanence series “Debating the Anthropocene.” See here, here, and here for previous articles in the series. (And note that some lengthy comments have been added to the previous post by Jan Zalasiewicz, Kieran […]

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Kieran Suckling’s post Against the Anthropocene, originally posted here on July 7 and subsequently shared with the International Commission on Stratigraphy’s Anthropocene Working Group by Andy Revkin, has elicited a round of emailed back-and-forths from some noteworthy individuals, including paleobiologist Jan Zalasiewicz and paleoecologist Anthony Barnosky. As this debate would be of interest to readers of this […]

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The following is a guest post by Kieran Suckling, Executive Director of the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity. It follows the discussion begun here and in some AESS conference sessions, including Andy Revkin’s keynote talk (viewable here) and responses to it (such as Clive Hamilton’s).  I In considering why the name “Anthropocene” has been proposed, why it has been embraced by many, […]

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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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Two new publications — one in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the other in The Atlantic — help make a point that critics of the “Anthropocene” (the name, not the geological designation) have been making for years: that it’s not humanity that is somehow at fault for the ecological crisis, since […]

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Fans of Mark Rothko’s color field paintings frequently comment on the spaciousness, immersiveness, and liminality of those works: the way you can stand in front of them and feel as if you are being bathed in some transcendent force that is irreducible to anything else. Great art is (supposed to be) like that: it simply […]

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I will be making parts of my “Advanced Environmental Humanities” course open to the EcoCultureLab community and a limited broader public. Technical details remain to be worked out, but I’d like to make our readings and discussions open, so as to include interested participants from outside the university community. The course is a graduate and […]

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How best to characterize the past decade in books? This list focuses on three themes: attempts to grapple with the nature of the climate and extinction crises, the “ontological” and “decolonial” “turns” in cultural and environmental theory, and efforts to map out the “multispecies entanglements” that characterize our world and the acute challenges we face.

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The outbreak of Coronavirus is a good opportunity to think about how we treat guests whose novel appearance amidst us may pose hardship, but whose continuing presence is undeniable.

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It’s nice to see archdruid John Michael Greer’s proposal for a “Pleistocene-Neocene transition” get a little traction in the science press — specifically, in a Science Alert article by psychologist Matthew Adams. Greer, whose writings on religion and ecology are respectably out-of-the-box, advocates against the Anthropocene label on the basis that a geological epoch — […]

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Peircian thinker Gary Fuhrman has posted an interesting piece on the naming of the Anthropocene, entitled Holocenoscopy. Noting that the word Holocene means nothing more than “entirely recent,” as opposed to the Pleistocene, which means “most recent,” so there’s really nowhere left to go with naming geological periods after their recentness, Fuhrman suggests we look to another […]

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