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Anthropocene Dynamics in the Prehistoric Pacific

Modeling Emergent Socioecological Outcomes of Environmental Change

Thomas P. Leppard

Introduction: The Transformative Anthropocene The behavior of our species is driving large-scale and linked change within the earth systems. This change is characterized by several factors that distinguish it from previous types of planetary

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Rethinking Human Development and/as Human Security for the Anthropocene

An Analysis of the United Nations Development Programme Trilogy of Reports 2020–2022

Des Gasper

Development Report 2020: The Next Frontier—Human Development and the Anthropocene , hereafter HDR 2020 ( UNDP 2020 ); the February 2022 Special Report New Threats to Human Security in the Anthropocene , hereafter SR 2022 ( UNDP 2022a ); and the Human

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Feathered Roots and Migratory Routes: Immigrants and Birds in the Anthropocene

J. Cristobal Pizarro and Brendon M. H. Larson

, now that humans have become a major geological force, rapid social-ecological changes have created novelty to such an extent that scientists propose a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene ( Crutzen 2002 ; Lewis 2015 ). In this epoch, increasing

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‘Environmental Orientations’ and the Anthropology of the Anthropocene

Gisela Welz

In the 1970s, scholar Ina-Maria Greverus was a pioneer in opening German Volkskunde towards international horizons. Her concept of human-environment interaction as “territoriality”, inspired by US-american cultural ecology, is reconsidered as an anthropology of the Anthropocene avant la lettre.

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Beyond the Anthropocene

Un-Earthing an Epoch

Valerie Olson and Lisa Messeri

As “the Anthropocene” emerges as a geological term and environmental analytic, this paper examines its emerging rhetorical topology. We show that Anthropocene narratives evince a macroscale division between an “inner” and “outer” environment. This division situates an Anthropocenic environment that matters in the surface zone between Earth's subsurface and the extraterrestrial “outer spaces” that we address here. We review literature in the sciences and social sciences to show how contemporary environmental thinking has been informed by understandings of Earth's broader planet-scaled environmental relations. Yet, today's Anthropocene conversation draws analytic attention inward and downward. Bringing in literature from scholars who examine the role of the extraterrestrial and outer environmental perspectives in terrestrial worlds, we suggest that Anthropocenic theorizations can productively incorporate inclusive ways of thinking about environments that matter. We argue for keeping “Anthropocene” connected to its spatial absences and physical others, including those that are non-anthropos in the extreme.

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Anthropological Engagement with the Anthropocene

A Critical Review

Hannah Gibson and Sita Venkateswar

The Anthropocene refers to the planetary scale of anthropogenic influences on the composition and function of Earth ecosystems and life forms. Socio-political and geographic responses frame the uneven topographies of climate change, while efforts to adapt and mitigate its impact extend across social and natural sciences. This review of anthropology's evolving engagement with the Anthropocene contemplates multifarious approaches to research. The emergence of multispecies ethnographic research highlights entanglements of humans with other life forms. New ontological considerations are reflected in Kohn's “Anthropology of Life,” ethnographic research that moves beyond an isolated focus on the human to consider other life processes and entities as research participants. Examples of critical engagement discussed include anthropology beyond disciplinary borders, queries writing in the Anthropocene, and anthropology of climate change. We demonstrate the diverse positions of anthropologists within this juncture in relation to our central trope of entanglements threaded through our discussion in this review.

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Surveying the Chemical Anthropocene

Chemical Imaginaries and the Politics of Defining Toxicity

Yogi Hale Hendlin

If the Anthropocene is defined as the age in which industrialization briefly became a predominant disruptor of Earth's geological forces, then the proliferation of chemical manufacturing and synthesis has played a central role. This article

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A Political Ecology of Education in/for the Anthropocene

Teresa Lloro-Bidart

This article begins by introducing educational humanism, the Anthropocene concept, and the political ecology of education framework that guides the analysis. I then demonstrate that the current Anthropocene-informed educational research literature pragmatically focuses on how education has the capacity to serve as a means to adapt to the impending environmental challenges of the current geological epoch. I argue that though this literature makes important contributions, educational researchers doing Anthropocene-informed work would benefit from an ecofeminist and/or posthumanist political ecology of education. This conceptual lens: (1) examines how the kinds of human-nature relationships perpetuated in educational spaces are the result of complex and scaled political factors and (2) questions and reimagines human-nature divides reified in educational practice and research. Throughout the article, the persistent humanism of the American formal education system is critiqued, drawing on both the extant literature and a textual analysis of the Framework for K–12 Science Education.

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John Clare in the Anthropocene

Richard D.G. Irvine and Mina Gorji

This article explores what it might mean to interweave social and natural history, taking as its inspiration the work of the English poet John Clare (1793-1864). If Dipesh Chakrabarty (2009) is right in suggesting that the recognition that we are now in the Anthropocene - a geological epoch of our own making - will force us to re-read human history in the light of planetary history and deep time, John Clare's work provides us with a way of thinking how this might be done. Clare's explorations of human and natural temporalities, and his challenges to our dominant sense of value, may help us to think beyond anthropocentricism and to re-evaluate assumptions of economic progress. With this in mind, we conclude by placing Clare's poetry in conversation with John Locke and his labour theory of value.

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The Social Life of Blame in the Anthropocene

Peter Rudiak-Gould

The Anthropocene can be understood as a crisis of blame: it is not only a geological era but also a political zeitgeist in which the marks of human agency and culpability can be perceived nearly everywhere. Treating global climate change as a metonym for this predicament, I show how life in the Anthropocene reconfigures blame in four ways: it invites ubiquitous blame, ubiquitous blamelessness, selective blame, and partial blame. I review case studies from around the world, investigating which climate change blame narratives actors select, why, and with what consequences. Climate change blame can lead to scapegoating and buck-passing but also to their opposites. Given that the same ethical stance may lead to radically different consequences in different situations, the nobleness or ignobleness of an Anthropocene blame narrative is not a property of the narrative itself, but of the way in which actors deploy it in particular times and places.