6 The twilight of the Anthropocene: sustaining literature Claire Colebrook Over the last decade the claims made for the importance of literary understanding, environmental humanities and imaginative reflection have received a (perhaps tragic) reinforcement from the inverse relation between the threats facing humans and other species, and the capacity for action. It is almost as if the prospect of calamity and unprecedented change is so intense that the practical, rational and imaginative resources we have for thinking about the future are simply and woefully
possibilities of interspecies revolt in pursuit of alternatives to a civilisation predicated on exploitation of the non-human, from animals to plants to minerals and beyond. The film-makers’ attention to the entangled faiths of human and non-human animals is attuned to problems afflicting the epoch that has become known as the Anthropocene, even as the bulk of their films predate its naming, in which the human imprint on earth shapes the planet in ways that encompass unpredictable changes in geology, atmosphere, and biodiversity. 3 Here, I will argue that Kaplan’s and
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), Ontopolitics in the Anthropocene: An Introduction to Mapping, Sensing and Hacking ( London : Routledge ). Chouliaraki , L. ( 2013 ), The Ironic Spectator: Solidarity in the Age of Post-Humanitarianism ( Cambridge and Malden, MA : Polity Press ). Cooper , M. ( 2011 ), ‘ Complexity Theory after the Financial Crisis: The Death of Neoliberalism or the Triumph of Hayek? ’, Journal of Cultural Economy , 4 : 4 , 371 – 85 . Corlett , A. ( 2017 ), As Time
The ecological eye aims to align the discipline of art history with ecology, climate change, the Anthropocene and the range of politics and theoretical positions that will help to ground such an approach. It looks both backwards and forwards in order to promote the capacities of close attention, vital materialism, nonhierarchy, care and political ecology. The book seeks to place the history of art alongside its ecocritical colleagues in other humanities disciplines. Three main directions are discussed: the diverse histories of art history itself, for evidence of exemplary work already available; the politics of social ecology, Marxist ecologies and anarchy, showing its largely untapped relevance for work in art history and visual culture; and finally, emerging work in posthumanism and new materialism, that challenges unhelpful hierarchies across the human, animal, botanical and geological spheres. The ecological eye concludes with an appeal to the discipline to respond positively to the environmental justice movement.
pressing in the current day. In many ways the ecological imperative has enabled a discourse around frugality that is less ‘moral’ in a limited Marxist way than it used to be, and more ‘ethical’ in terms of finding ways to live differently for quite practical reasons. Most recently, these concerns have been crystalised in the increasingly mainstream term –Anthropocene. The term, coined by ecologist Eugene Stoermer and atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen, describes the current geological era, positing it as a massive increase in human influence on the world during the last
Cormac McCarthy: a complexity theory of literature examines McCarthy’s works as a case study demonstrating how literary texts can make chaotic and complex systems imaginable. This book offers the first sustained analysis of McCarthy’s literary engagement with complex systems, from food webs to evolutionary economics. Focusing on McCarthy’s depiction of the role of economics and art on global inequality and eco-disaster, it argues that McCarthy’s works offer a case study in the role of literature in challenging us to imagine the consequences of our world’s unmaking, and to recognize what creativity and ethos is needed to make it again in the ‘very maelstrom of its undoing.’
The sea and International Relations is a path-breaking collection which opens up the conversation about the sea in International Relations (IR), and probes the value of analysing the sea in IR terms. While the world’s oceans cover more than 70 percent of its surface, the sea has largely vanished as an object of enquiry in IR, being treated either as a corollary of land or as time. Yet, the sea is the quintessential international space, and its importance to global politics has become all the more obvious in recent years. Drawing on interdisciplinary insights from IR, historical sociology, blue humanities and critical ocean studies, The sea and International Relations breaks with this trend of oceanic amnesia, and kickstarts a theoretical, conceptual and empirical discussion about the sea and IR, offering novel takes on the spatiality of world politics by highlighting theoretical puzzles, analysing broad historical perspectives and addressing contemporary challenges. In bringing the sea back into IR, The sea and International Relations reconceptualises the canvas of IR to include the oceans not only as travel time, but as a social, political, economic and military space which affects the workings of world politics. As such, The sea and International Relations is as ambitious as it is timely. Together, the contributions to the volume emphasise the pressing need to think of the world with the sea rather than ignoring it in order to address not only the ecological fate of the globe, but changing forms of international order.
Living with water brings together sociologists, geographers, anthropologists, artists, writers and poets to explore the ways in which water binds, immerses and supports us. Drawing from international research on river crossings, boat dwelling, wild swimming, sea fishing, and draught impacts, and navigating urban waters, glacial lagoons, barrier reefs and disappearing tarns, the collection illuminates the ways that we live with and without water, and explores how we can think and write with water on land. Water offers a way of attending to emerging and enduring social and ecological concerns and making sense of them in lively and creative ways. By approaching Living with water from different disciplinary and methodological perspectives, and drawing on research from around the world, this collection opens up discussions that reinvigorate and renew previously landlocked debates.
Ice humanities is a pioneering collection of essays designed to bring to the fore how change to our cryosphere is imagined and experienced. By the end of this century, we will likely be facing a world where sea ice no longer reliably forms in large areas of the Arctic Ocean, where glaciers have not just retreated but disappeared, where ice sheets collapse, and where permafrost is far from permanent. The ramifications of such change are not geophysical and biochemical – they are societal and cultural, and they are about value and loss.
Where does that leave our inherited ideas, knowledge, and experiences of ice, snow, frost, and frozen ground? How will human, animal, and plant communities superbly adapted to cold and high places cope with less, or even no, ice? The ecological services provided by ice alone are breathtaking. Just one example is the role of seasonal meltwater in providing water and food security for hundreds of millions of people around the world. The stakes could not be higher. This collection develops the field of ice humanities in order to reveal the centrality of ice in human and non-human life.