Features

Toxicity, Waste, Detritus: An Introduction

Planet Earth has entered the time of the Anthropocene. For natural scientists, this means that human activity, taken as a whole, has come to rival geological and biophysical forces in its effect on the planet. Disturbing material comparisons communicate the deep weirdness of this fact. For example, there’s now enough concrete on the planet to produce a 2mm thick, full-scale …

Features

Humanitarianism in the Anthropocene

The decade has been conceptually rich for anthropologists. From multi-species ethnography to the practice of care, the past several years have seen a flourish of analytical concepts and theoretical preoccupations. Two key developments among these emergent and often-interlinked topics are anthropology’s focus on international humanitarianism and the Anthropocene. To date these two important research streams have not been linked. This …

Features

Conference Report: ‘Comment penser l’anthropocène?’ at Collège de France, Paris

November 5 & 6, 2015 – Conference Program and Videos

The two-day conference ‘Comment penser l’anthropocène?’ (‘How to think the Anthropocene?’) at the Collège de France in Paris brought together numerous scholars from natural and political sciences, from philosophy, anthropology, sociology, history and law. It was chaired by Catherine Larrère and Philippe Descola with the support of the patronage committee …

Books

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s “The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins”

tsingcoverThe Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Princeton University Press, 2015, 352 pages

Yeah. What a nice book. Thank goodness there are feminists at the controls as we enter the ecological—which is to say, truly post-modern (note the hyphen) era. This is a profoundly nonviolent, and therefore …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Weather the Weather

Inspired by yet another prediction of snowfall tonight in Brooklyn, this month’s web roundup will briefly outline some recent looks at climate change. Over at Jacobin, Andreas Malm critiques the Anthropocene narrative’s place in discourse around climate change. Malm writes, “Species-thinking on climate change only induces paralysis. If everyone is to blame, then no one is.” At Aeon, Jedediah Purdy

Features

Multispecies vs Anthropocene

northumberland bestiary detail small

An earlier version of this post first appeared on the author’s site, Aesop’s Anthropology.

What just happened in Anthropology? In the 2013 annual meeting there were zero abstracts or paper or panel titles featuring the word “Anthropocene”; this year there were 64! Compare that with “multispecies,” which has held steady at between 16-23 invocations after it first made its appearance …