1. Steve Howard, head of sustainability for IKEA, quoted in Zi-Ann Lum, “Steve Howard, Ikea Exec, Says The World Has Hit ‘Peak Stuff,’” Huffington Post, January 20, 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/01/19/ikea-peak-home-furnishing-stuff_n_9019476.html.
2. Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 29; Catherine Keller, Apocalypse Now and Then: A Feminist Guide to the End of the World (Boston: Beacon Press, 1996; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005), 2. Citations refer to the Fortress Press edition.
3. See Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014).
4. See Mark Lynas, The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2011), Kindle edition.
5. Claire Colebrook has gone so far as to argue: “We have always been post-Anthropocene.” Claire Colebrook, “We Have Always Been Post-Anthropocene: The Anthropocene Counterfactual,” in Anthropocene Feminism, ed. Richard Grusin (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017): 1–20.
6. Tom Cohen and Claire Colebrook, preface to Twilight of the Anthropocene Idols, by Tom Cohen, Claire Colebrook, and J. Hillis Miller (London: Open Humanities Press, 2016), 11.
7. Keller, Apocalypse Now and Then, 10–11.
8. Joanna Zylinska, Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Open Humanities Press, 2014), http://www.openhumanitiespress.org/books/titles/minimal-ethics-for-the-anthropocene/.
Man’s Tragic Worldview
1. See Wojciech Załuski, Przeciw rozpaczy: O tragicznej wizji świata i sposobach jej przezwyciężania (Krakow: Copernicus Center Press, 2014).
2. Rev. 6:12–15 (King James Version).
3. See Rev. 21–22 (KJV).
4. Gen. 1:26 (KJV).
Men Repair the World for Me
2. Solnit, “Men Explain.”
3. Cohen and Colebrook, preface to Twilight, 11.
4. Cohen and Colebrook, preface to Twilight, 12.
5. Kathryn Yusoff, “Anthropogenesis: Origins and Endings in the Anthropocene,” Theory, Culture & Society 33, no. 2 (2016): 3–28, 10–11.
6. Kate Raworth, “Must the Anthropocene Be a Manthropocene?,” Guardian, October 20, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/20/anthropocene-working-group-science-gender-bias. Following the international uproar over this, the number of women on the Committee has now increased, albeit only slightly.
7. Raworth, “Manthropocene?”
8. Stephen Emmott, Ten Billion (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 2013), Kindle edition.
9. Bernd M. Scherer, preface to Grain Vapor Ray: Textures of the Anthropocene, eds. Katrin Klingan et al., vol. 4, Manual (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2015), 3; emphasis in original.
10. Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History: Four Theses,” Eurozine, October 30, 2009, http://www.eurozine.com/the-climate-of-history-four-theses/. First published in Critical Inquiry 35, no. 2 (Winter 2009): 197–222.
11. Claire Colebrook, “What Is the Anthropo-political?,” in Twilight of the Anthropocene Idols, ed. Tom Cohen, Claire Colebrook, and J. Hillis Miller (London: Open Humanities Press, 2016), 89.
12. Cohen and Colebrook, preface to Twilight, 9.
Project Man 2.0
1. Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2015), vii.
2. Tsing, Mushroom, vii.
3. Will Storr, “Mark Lynas: Truth, Treachery and GM Food,” Observer, March 9, 2013, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/09/mark-lynas-truth-treachery-gm.
4. Lynas, The God Species.
5. Lynas, The God Species.
6. Lynas, The God Species.
7. Lynas, The God Species.
8. Lynas, The God Species.
9. Lynas, The God Species.
10. Lynas, The God Species.
12. For an account of the idea of “the good Anthropocene,” see “The Breakthrough Dialogue,” The Breakthrough Institute, http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/dialogue/past-dialogues/breakthrough-dialogue-2015. See also, for a critique of this concept, Rory Rowan, “Extinction as Usual? Geo-social Futures and Left Optimism,” e-flux journal 65, SUPERCOMMUNITY, (May–August 2015): 1–11.
13. Lynas, The God Species.
14. Keller, Apocalypse Now and Then, 6.
15. Lynas, The God Species.
16. I am using the phrase “Homo deus” as per the accepted Latin capitalization of species names (e.g., Homo sapiens), unless I am referring to Yuval Noah Harari’s book Homo Deus (London: Harvill Secker, 2016).
17. Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (London: Harvill Secker, 2011).
18. Harari, Homo Deus, 16.
19. Harari, Homo Deus, 22.
20. Harari, Homo Deus, 25.
21. Harari, Homo Deus, 46.
22. Harari, Homo Deus, 49.
1. Stephen Hawking, “I Think the Human Race Has No Future If it Doesn’t Go to Space,” Guardian, September 26, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/26/i-think-the-human-race-has-no-future-if-it-doesnt-go-to-space.
2. Hélène Mialet, Hawking Incorporated: Stephen Hawking and the Anthropology of the Knowing Subject (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), Kindle edition.
3. Rev. 21 (KJV).
4. Olivia Solon, “Elon Musk Has Ambitious Plans for Mars. Are They As Crazy As They Sound?,” Guardian, September 27, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/27/elon-musk-spacex-mars-exploration-space-science.
5. Nicky Woolf, “SpaceX Founder Elon Musk Plans to Get Humans to Mars in Six Years,” Guardian, September 28, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/27/elon-musk-spacex-mars-colony.
6. Percival Lowell, Mars (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1895); Mars and Its Canals (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1906); Mars as the Abode of Life (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1908); NASA website, quoted in Sarah Kember, ed., introduction to Astrobiology and The Search for Life on Mars, Living Books about Life (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Open Humanities Press, 2011), http://www.livingbooksaboutlife.org/books/Astrobiology.
7. Woolf, “SpaceX Founder.”
8. Dave Mosher, Ali Sundermier and Rafi Letzter, “This Is Elon Musk’s Plan to Begin Colonizing Mars by 2022,” Business Insider UK, September 27, 2016, http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-spacex-mars-colony-talk-iac-2016-9.
The End of the White Man
1. Stanisław Lem, Summa Technologiae, trans. Joanna Zylinska (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013), 87.
2. Mirzoeff writes: “Given that the Anthropos in Anthropocene turns out to be our old friend the (imperialist) white male, my mantra has become: it’s not the Anthropocene, it’s the white supremacy scene.” Nicholas Mirzoeff, “It’s Not the Anthropocene, It’s the White Supremacy Scene; or, The Geological Color Line,” in After Extinction, ed. Richard Grusin (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2018).
3. Sanjiv Bhattacharya, “‘Call Me a Racist, but Don’t Say I’m a Buddhist’: Meet America’s Alt Right,” Observer, October 9, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/09/call-me-a-racist-but-dont-say-im-a-buddhist-meet-the-alt-right.
4. Mirzoeff, “It’s Not the Anthropocene.”
5. Bhattacharya, “‘Call Me a Racist.’”
6. Bhattacharya, “‘Call Me a Racist.’”
7. Keller, Apocalypse Now and Then, 56.
8. Colebrook, “What Is the Anthropo-political?,” 91.
9. Kristin Dombek, The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016), Kindle edition.
10. Francisco Panizza, introduction to Populism and the Mirror of Democracy, ed. Francisco Panizza (London: Verso, 2005), 1–31, 3.
11. Ernesto Laclau has extensively analyzed populist tendencies in Latin America, focusing on various forms of left populism. See also John B. Judis, “Us v Them: The Birth of Populism,” Guardian, October 13, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/13/birth-of-populism-donald-trump.
12. This phrase has been proposed by the Polish political commentator Sławomir Sierakowski. He is referring to a countertendency to the right-wing populism promoted by politicians such as Poland’s ex–prime minister Donald Tusk and France’s Macron, who suspended any traditional affiliations with either left or right politics while offering a bland yet seductive mixture of optimism, progress, modernity, and prosperity in lieu of any coherent political program. In “Populizm oświecony,” Polityka no. 20 (3110), May 17–23, 2017: 47–49.
13. Panizza, introduction to Populism, 23.
14. Franco Berardi, Heroes: Mass Murder and Suicide (London: Verso, 2015), 100. See also pages 96 and 110.
15. Quoted in Berardi, Heroes, 99.
16. Jan-Werner Müller, “Austria: The Lesson of the Far Right,” New York Review of Books, July 25, 2016, http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/07/25/austria-freedom-party-populism-lesson-far-right/.
17. Ernesto Laclau, “Populism: What’s in a Name?,” in Populism and the Mirror of Democracy, ed. Francisco Panizza (London: Verso, 2005), 32–49, 35.
18. The UK’s Jeremy Corbyn, who, while still in the opposition in 2018, is transforming in public perception from an “unelectable” to a valid political opponent of the Conservative party, may prove an exception to this trend.
19. Trump’s vague promises to put an end to globalization and “make America great again” are not coupled with any desire to eliminate economic inequality and are, indeed, aimed at strengthening the very same individualized political subject that underpins the neoliberal logic.
20. See, for example, J. R. McNeill and Peter Engelke, The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene Since 1945 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2016).
21. Chantal Mouffe, “The ‘End of Politics’ and the Challenge of Right-Wing Populism,” in Populism and the Mirror of Democracy, ed. Francisco Panizza (London: Verso, 2005), 55.
22. Mouffe, “‘End of Politics,’” 57.
The End of Men?
1. This statistic has been cited by Jane Powell, CEO of suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign against Living Miserably), quoted in Sarah Hughes, “From Bruce Springsteen to Tyson Fury, Men Are Opening Up about Depression,” Guardian, October 8, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/08/men-depression-opening-up-kid-cudi-springsteen-fury.
3. Hanna Rosin, “The End of Men,” Atlantic, July/August 2010, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/308135/. See also Hanna Rosin, The End of Men and the Rise of Women (New York: Riverhead Books, 2012).
4. Rosin, “End of Men.”
5. Rosin, “End of Men.”
6. Rosin, “End of Men.”
7. Berardi, Heroes, 24.
8. Jennifer Homans, “A Woman’s Place: ‘The End of Men,’ by Hanna Rosin,” New York Times, September 13, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/books/review/the-end-of-men-by-hanna-rosin.html.
9. Fredric Jameson recalls a saying, “It is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism,” in “Future City,” New Left Review 21, no. 1 (May–June 2003), http://newleftreview.org/II/21/fredric-jameson-future-city.
10. See Berardi, Heroes, 5.
11. Berardi, Heroes, 162.
12. Berardi, Heroes, 145–6.
13. See Berardi, Heroes, 24.
14. This is precisely the argument outlined by Mark Fisher, a critic of capitalism who also wrote extensively about depression, in his uncannily prescient Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Winchester, UK: Zero Books, 2009). Fisher took his own life in early 2017.
15. Olivia Solon, “Is Our World a Simulation? Why Some Scientists Say It’s More Likely than Not,” Guardian, October 11, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/11/simulated-world-elon-musk-the-matrix.
16. Nick Bostrom, “Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?,” Philosophical Quarterly 53, no. 211 (2003): 243–55, http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html.
17. Bostrom, “Computer Simulation?”
18. Bostrom, “Computer Simulation?”
19. Radically critical thinking about the idea of the human can be traced back at least to the work of Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud, and can also be found in the subsequent writings of such authors as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Donna Haraway. Some of the more recent key texts that have critically engaged with the concept of posthumanism include: N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999); Cary Wolfe, What Is Posthumanism? (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009); Rosi Braidotti, The Posthuman (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2013); and Stefan Herbrechter, Posthumanism: A Critical Analysis (London: Bloomsbury, 2013).
20. See Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” Feminist Studies 14, no. 3 (Autumn 1998): 575–99.
21. See Lynn Margulis and Dorian Sagan, What Is Life? (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).
22. Olivia Solon, “Is Our World a Simulation?”
23. Bostrom, “Computer Simulation?” (emphasis in original).”
24. Bostrom, “Computer Simulation?”
25. Etienne Turpin, “Who Does the Earth Think It Is, Now?,” in Architecture in the Anthropocene, ed. Etienne Turpin (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Open Humanities Press, 2013), 3–10, 3. See also Joanna Zylinska, “Photography After the Human,” Photographies 9, no. 2 (2016): 167–86.
A Feminist Counterapocalypse
1. See Donna Haraway, The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness (Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2003) and Karen Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2007).
2. Barad, Meeting the Universe Halfway, 140.
3. Keller, Apocalypse Now and Then, 19.
4. Tsing, Mushroom, viii.
5. Tsing, Mushroom, viii.
6. Tsing, Mushroom, 77.
7. Tsing, Mushroom, 2.
8. Tsing, Mushroom, 2.
9. Tsing, Mushroom, 20.
10. Tsing, Mushroom, 20.
11. Judith Butler, Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence (London: Verso, 2004), xvii–xviii.
12. See Emmanuel Levinas, “Ethics As First Philosophy,” in The Levinas Reader, ed. Sean Hand (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989).
13. See Joanna Zylinska, Bioethics in the Age of New Media (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2009), 1–63.
14. Tsing, Mushroom, 28.
15. Tsing, Mushroom, 28.
16. I am grateful to Piotr Boćkowski for infecting me with fungal thinking.
17. Isabelle Stengers, In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism, trans. Andrew Goffey (London: Open Humanities Press; Lüneburg, Germany: meson press, 2015), 58.
18. Stengers, In Catastrophic Times, 47.
19. Stengers, In Catastrophic Times, 25.
20. Tsing, Mushroom, 255.
1. Nicholas Mirzoeff, “Visualizing the Anthropocene,” Public Culture 26, no. 2 (2014): 213–32, 213.
2. Tomás Saraceno, Sasha Engelmann, and Bronislaw Szerszynski, “Becoming Aerosolar: From Solar Sculptures to Cloud Cities,” in Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies, eds. Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin (London: Open Humanities Press, 2015), 57–62, 61.
3. My PhD student Sasha Litvintseva’s theory–practice project of “geological filmmaking” is another example of trying to sense the Anthropocene via different media.
4. Fabien Giraud and Ida Soulard, “The Marfa Stratum: Contribution to a Theory of Sites,” in Art in the Anthropocene, eds. Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin (London: Open Humanities Press, 2015), 167–80, 167.
5. Giraud and Soulard, “The Marfa Stratum,” 167.
6. Giraud and Soulard, “The Marfa Stratum,” 168.
7. Trevor Paglen, The Last Pictures (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), 13.
8. See Mirzoeff, “Visualizing the Anthropocene,” 217.
9. Cohen and Colebrook, preface to Twilight, 8.