Four Problems, Four Directions for Environmental Humanities: Toward Critical Posthumanities for the Anthropocene
Ethics and the Environment
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2015
Pages: 67 - 97
Source ID: shanti-sources-79766
Collection: Anthropocene and the Environmental Future
Abstract: Taking into account intersecting trends in political, academic, and popular engagements with environmental issues, this paper concerns the development of environmental humanities as an academic field of inquiry, specifically in this new era many are calling the Anthropocene. After a brief outline of the environmental humanities as a field, we delimit four problems that currently frame our relation to the environment, namely: alienation and intangibility; the post-political situation; negative framing of environmental change; and compartmentalization of “the environment” from other spheres of concern. Addressing these problems, we argue, is not possible without environmental humanities. Given that this field is not entirely new, our second objective is to propose specific shifts in the environmental humanities that could address the aforementioned problems. These include attention to environmental imaginaries; rethinking the “green” field to include feminist genealogies; enhanced transdisciplinarity and postdisciplinarity; and increasing “citizen humanities” efforts.