This book sets forth a new research agenda for climate theory and aesthetics for the age of the Anthropocene. It explores the challenge of representing and conceptualizing climate in the era of climate change.
In the Anthropocene when geologic conditions and processes are primarily shaped by human activity, climate indicates not only atmospheric forces but the gamut of human activity that shape these forces. It includes the fuels we use, the lifestyles we cultivate, the industrial infrastructures and supply chains we build, and together these point to the possible futures we may encounter. This book demonstrates how every weather event constitutes the climatic forces that are as much social, cultural, and economic as they are environmental, natural, and physical. By foregrounding this fundamental insight, it intervenes in the well-established political and scientific discourses of climate change by identifying and exploring emergent aesthetic practices and the conceptual project of mediating the various forces embedded in climate.
This book is the first to sustain a theoretical and analytical engagement with the category of realism in the context of anthropogenic climate change, to capture climate’s capacity to express embedded histories, and to map the formal strategies of representation that have turned climate into cultural content.
Part 1. The Climate of Representation
1. Ecological Postures for a Climate Realism
2. Anthropocene Arts: Apocalyptic Realism and the Post-Oil Imaginary in the Niger Delta
3. Fire, Water, Moon: Supplemental Seasons in a Time without Season
Part 2. The Subject of Climate
4. Indigenous Realism and Climate Change
Kyle Powys Whyte
5. Realism’s Phantom Subjects
6. Geologic Realism: On the Beach of Geologic Time
Part 3. Realism and the Critique of Climate, or Climate and the Critique of Realism
7. The Poetics of Geopower: Climate Change and the Politics of Representation
Ingrid Diran and Antoine Traisnel
8. Perplexing Realities: Practicing Relativism in the Anthropocene
Barbara Herrnstein Smith
Humility and humiliation have an awkward, often unacknowledged intimacy. Humility may be a queenly, cardinal or monkish virtue, while humiliation points to an affective state at the extreme end of shame. Yet a shared etymology links the words to lowliness and, further down, to the earth. As this study suggests, like the terms in question, T. S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett share an imperfect likeness. Between them is a common interest in states of abjection, shame and suffering – and possible responses to such states. Tracing the relation between negative affect, ethics, and aesthetics, Eliot and Beckett’s Low Modernism demonstrates how these two major modernists recuperate the affinity between humility and humiliation concepts whose definitions have largely been determined by philosophy and theology.
Abbreviations and conventions
Conclusion: humility’s edges
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