To take the concept of the Anthropocene seriously requires engagement with global history. But what ‘global’ shall this be? In honour of the work of Marilyn Strathern, this essay explores that planetary Anthropocene composed of fragments that do not fit together at all, and yet necessarily do. At the centre of my concerns are the awkward relations between what one might call ‘machines of replication’ – those simplified ecologies, such as plantations, in which life worlds are remade as future assets – and the vernacular histories in which such machines erupt in all their particularity and go feral in counter-intentional forms. Such eruptions are manifestations of post-Enlightenment modern Man, the one who got us into the mess we call the Anthropocene. Yet, in contrast to approaches that begin with the unified continuity of Man (versus indigenous ontologies; as scientific protocol and so on), this article explores contingent eruptions and the patchy, fractured Anthropocene they foster.
Florian Berding and Ilka Lau
Epistemic beliefs are individuals’ beliefs about knowledge and knowing. Research assumes that epistemic messages embedded in learning materials shape learners’ beliefs. In order to provide information about these epistemic messages, this article analyzes 4,169 accounting exercises and 1,265 marketing exercises found in training textbooks for retailers, wholesalers, bank assistants, and industrial business management assistants. A latent class analysis identifies four types of exercises. The findings indicate that most epistemic messages emphasize knowledge that consists of stable, interconnected elements that are not useful for professional situations. Knowledge is transmitted by an authority and does not need to be justified. This article provides ideas on the basis of which exercises in textbooks may be revised.
Whither an Interdisciplinary Role?
Susan A. Crate
Using longitudinal ethnographic material, anthropologists are skilled to discern how change, in its many forms, interacts with the livelihoods of affected communities. Furthermore, multi-sited ethnography can show how local change is both a result of global to local phenomena and of origins affecting similar local contexts. Ethnographic material is therefore critical to interdisciplinary understandings of change. Through case study in native villages in north-eastern Siberia, Russia, this article argues for ethnography's unique capacity to understand change. In addition, it argues for ethnography's much-needed contribution in interdisciplinary efforts to account for attributes of global change both highly local and human.
Andrew K. Jorgenson, Brett Clark and Jennifer E. Givens
Drawing from emergent areas of sociological research and theorization, the authors consider the environmental impacts of militaries from a comparative-international perspective. The article begins with an overview of treadmill of production and treadmill of destruction theories, the latter of which highlights the expansionary tendencies and concomitant environmental consequences of militarization. This theoretical overview is followed by a narrative assessment of military growth and energy consumption, with a particular focus on the US military over the past century. Next, the authors detail the various environmental impacts associated with the growth and structure of national militaries, briefly discuss potential future research directions, and conclude by calling for scholars in future studies on society/nature relationships to seriously consider the environmental and ecological impacts of the world's militaries.
Derek Hook and Clifford L. Staples
Climate of Fear: The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumanized World (The BBC Reith Lectures) Derek Hook
Racism: A Short History Clifford L. Staples
Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger. Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
J. Timmons Roberts and Bradley C. Parks. A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007.
Evert Van de Vliert
This theory-based study tests the interactive impacts of the demands of thermal climate and wealth resources on variations in privileged culture represented by mental health, personal freedom, and political democracy. Multiple regression analysis of aggregated survey data covering 106 countries shows that cultures vary from minimally privileged in poor countries with demanding climates (e.g., Azerbaijan and Belarus) to maximally privileged in rich countries with demanding climates (e.g., Canada and Finland). In between those extremes, moderate degrees of privileged culture prevail in poor and rich countries with undemanding climates (e.g., Colombia and Singapore). Rival explanations and competing predictors, including degrees of agrarianism versus capitalism, latitude and longitude, and parasitic disease burden, could not account for these findings in support of the burgeoning climato-economic theory of culture.
This first issue of a new volume of the journal – volume 31 – takes us into the biosciences and into discussions about climate change. In so doing, this issue incorporates a diversity of voices from within anthropology and beyond it.
Witnessing the End of the World in Cormac McCarthy's The Road
Cormac McCarthy's The Road can be read as part of the burgeoning field of climate fiction. This article examines the way that environmental anxiety manifests in this text not only through the vision of a future earth that has been devastated, but, as I will argue, at a more symbolic and allegorical level through the metaphoric place of vision, sight, and blindness. Interrogating the metaphor of vision is central to considering this text as climate fiction because it positions the human as the chosen witness to the end of the world. This article examines the anthropocentrism at the heart of McCarthy's text, and reflects on the place of the human in broader debates about anthropogenic climate change.
This article offers a reflection on the importance and impact of Jonathan Dollimore's book Radical Tragedy, situating it in the context of the critical and political climate of the 1980s and the author's own engagement with both early modern studies and postcolonial studies. It suggests that the book's engagement with both philosophy and history remains important to both fields today.