The Anthropocene as death trap and counterfeit currency (perish the thought)

When:11 Nov 2016, 2pm - 4pm
Venue:Morven Brown G3 (Map Ref C20)
Who:Professor Marcus A. Doel, Department of Geography, Swansea University
Doel Seminar


In the twilight of the Holocene, Michel Foucault once suggested that ‘perhaps one day, this century will be known as Deleuzian,’ a quip that Gilles Deleuze took as ‘a joke meant to make people who like us laugh, and make everyone else livid.’ Perhaps one day, this crepuscular century will be known as the Anthropocene (Anthropo-, from Greek ?νθρωπος, meaning ‘Man;’ and -scene, from Greek καιν?ς, meaning ‘new’ or ‘recent’), although it is not entirely clear whether the notion that Man has become a ‘force of nature’ driving a shift in the functioning of the Earth System should precipitate raucous laughter or righteous lividity. Certainly, His earthworks are legion and He is rapidly altering both the face of the Earth and its atmospheric and climatic veil, especially after His so-called ‘Industrial Revolution’ and ‘Great Acceleration’— perhaps even more so than other earth-surface and geological processes, many of which seem rather lame by comparison. As various International Working Groups and Scientific Commissions gear up to express their opinions and cast their votes on the past, present, and future State of the Earth, the term ‘Anthropocene’ has nevertheless been preemptively put into illicit circulation, and some have already started debasing this faux currency: ‘Anthropobscene,’ ‘Capitalocene,’ etc. This paper considers both the State of the Earth and the libidinal economy of this counterfeit currency from the perspective of an anti-social scientist who is bemused by the fact that Man ‘does not appear to know that He is dead,’ as Sigmund Freud once put it.;

About Marcus Doel

Marcus Doel is Professor of Human Geography at Swansea University, Co-Director of its Centre for Urban Theory, and a Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor. Marcus is the author of Poststructuralist Geographies: The Diabolical Art of Spatial Science, co-author of Writing the Rural, and co-editor of 5 other books, including: Jean Baudrillard: Fatal Theories,Moving Pictures/Stopping Places: Hotels & Motels on Film, and The Consumption Reader. His latest book, Geographies of Violence: Killing Space, Killing Time, is due to be published by Sage in early 2017

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