Placing the Anthropos in the Anthropocene

Jeff Hoelle and I just wrapped up proofs on an article that will be part of a special issue dedicated to the Anthropocene in the Annals of the American Association of Geographers. Our paper, which you can download a pre-print copy of below, reviews the place of “the human” in influential approaches to the Anthropocene to expose the diverse conceptualizations of humanity and human futures. Specifically, we engage critical perspectives on the structuring effects of capitalist and colonialist systems—now periodized as the “Capitalocene” and “Plantationocene,” respectively—that have driven environmental degradation and human inequality over the past half-millennium. We also draw on indigenous Amazonian perspectives that have a more capacious understanding of the human—including species other than Homo sapiens. To conclude, we extend our analysis to a broader suite of visions for building socially and environmentally-just futures captured in the framework of the “pluriverse,” which stands in strong contrast with the techno-modernist aspirations for the next stage in which humans become separated from Earth, in space. In recognizing these varied understandings of humanity, we hope to call attention to the diverse possibilities for human futures beyond the Anthropocene


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