Suspending the Anthropocene

Suspending the Anthropocene

Maan Barua (University of Oxford), Joe Gerlach  (University of Oxford), Thomas Jellis (University of Oxford)

Its probable sedimentation as a geological marker belies the rapid inundation of contemporary social and political theory by the so-called Anthropocene. In Geography, this has been particularly clear, with conceptual work on nature and environmentalism (Lorimer, 2012; Lorimer and Driessen, 2014), climate change (Dalby, 2013; Healy, 2014), the geo (Clark, 2012; Yusoff, 2014), as well as reviews (Castree, 2014a; 2014b; 2014c) and reflections on the Anthropocene (Johnson and Morehouse, 2014).

With the Holocene unceremoniously cannibalised in the blink of an epoch, the rush to harness and apply all things Anthropocenean is untamed. If the Anthropocene points to the end of ‘epochality’ as such (Viveiros de Castro, 2013), then this session looks to assemble and develop critiques – conceptually and philosophically eclectic – of the Anthropocene that harness ideas of ‘suspension’ (in all senses of the term), in order to problematize a prevalent narrative of abrupt change across a range of registers in contemporary geographical thought. This, then, might include examining the ‘bracketing’ of epochs, the suspending of the human, or the suspense of the future. As such, the session also seeks to explore and interrogate the politics of living in a ‘passive present’ engendered by the onset of the Anthropocene.

We welcome papers attending, but not limited, to:

  • Post-humanist critiques
  • Post-structuralist critiques
  • Post-colonial critiques
  • Non-western cosmologies
  • Epoch/epoché
  • Suspension
  • Futurity and anticipation
  • The Holocene
  • Abrupt change, with regards to theories of the event or novelty
  • Geophysical knowledge/politics
  • Provincialising the Anthropocene

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