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New Faculty Publication: Readings in the Anthropocene

Submitted by Michael Neininger on June 20, 2017 - 11:29am
New Faculty Publication:  Readings in the Anthropocene
New Faculty Publication: Sabine Wilke and Japhet Johnstone: Readings in the Anthropocene

Forthcoming: Editors: Sabine Wilke and Japhet Johnstone, Readings in the Anthropocene, Bloomsbury, 2017



About Readings in the Anthropocene

Readings in the Anthropocene brings together scholars from German Studies and beyond to interpret the German tradition of the last two hundred years from a perspective that is mindful of the challenge posed by the concept of the Anthropocene. This new age of man, unofficially pronounced in 2000, holds that humans are becoming a geological force in shaping the Earth's future. Among the biggest challenges facing our future are climate change, accelerated species loss, and a radical transformation of land use. What are the historical, philosophical, cultural, literary, and artistic responses to this new concept? The essays in this volume bring German culture to bear on what it means to live in the Anthropocene from a historical, ethical, and aesthetic perspective.

Table of contents

Introduction: Rethinking Literary History, Critical Reading Practices, and Cultural Studies in the Anthropocene
Sabine Wilke, University of Washington, USA

I. Entanglements
1. A World Without Us: Aesthetic, Literary and Scientific Imaginations of Nature beyond Humankind
Wolfgang Struck, University of Erfurt, Germany
2. Hybrid Environments in the Anthropocene: Recent Fiction
Carolina Schaumann, Emory University, USA, and Heather Sullivan, Trinity University, USA
3. Looking Behind Walls. Literary and Filmic Imaginations of Nature and Humanity in Haushofer's Die Wand
Sabine Frost, University of Washington, USA

II. Excess/Sustainability
4. Care and Forethought: The Idea of Sustainability in Hegel's Practical Philosophy
Klaus Vieweg, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany
5. Save the Forest, Burn Books: On the Science and Poetics of Sustainability in Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Markus Wilczek, Tufts University, USA
6. Mocking the Anthropocene: Caricatures of Man-made Landscapes in German Satirical Magazines from the Fin de Siècle
Evi Zemanek, University of Freiburg, Germany
7. The Darkness of the Anthropocene: Wolfgang Hilbig's Alte Abdeckerei.
Sabine Nöllgen, University of Puget Sound, USA

III. Periodization and Scale
8. Immanuel Kant, the Anthropocene, and the Idea of Environmental Cosmopolitanism
Amos Nascimento, University of Washington Tacoma, USA
9. Adalbert Stifter and the Gentle Anthropocene
Sean Ireton, University of Missouri, USA
10. Engineering the Anthropocene: Technology, Ambition, and Enlightenment in Theodor Storm's Der Schimmelreiter
Katie Ritson

IV. Diffusion, the Lithic, and a Planetary Praxis
11. Petrifiction: Reimagining the Mine in German Romanticism
Jason Groves, San Francisco State University, USA
12. The Anthroposcene of Literature: Diffuse Dwelling in Graham Swift and W.G. Sebald
Bernhard Malkmus, Ohio State University, USA
13. Planetary Praxis in the Anthropocene: An Ethics and Poetics for a New Geological Age
Sabine Wilke, University of Washington, USA

Epilogue: The Anthropocene in German Perspective
Axel Goodbody, University of Bath, UK



Readings in the Anthropocene provides a timely collection of transdisciplinary essays on literary, historical and philosophical texts, films, artworks and caricatures in German studies within the broader fields of ecocriticism and environmental humanities from the eighteenth century until today. Scrutinizing the concept of the Anthropocene, the volume analyses the manifold interactions between the human and non-human world and encourages new thinking toward a sustainable future.” –  Gabriele Dürbeck, Professor of German and Culture Studies, University of Vechta, Germany

“What do Kant, Hegel, Romantic poets and Naturphilosophen, as well as contemporary German writers and artists have to say about the Anthropocene? The answer to this question is at the core of this rich collection, superbly assembled by Sabine Wilke and Japhet Johnstone. Insightful, deeply researched, and elegantly written, the essays of Readings in the Anthropocene not only remind us that many of the concepts we use-ecology, the “Faustian” delusions of anthropocentrism-find their roots in the German imagination, but also show how intensely that imagination continues to enrich the whole discourse of the environmental humanities.” –  Serenella Iovino, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Turin, Italy, and editor of Material Ecocriticism and Environmental Humanities: Voices from the Anthropocene

“This excellent volume is distinguished by its cross-disciplinary reach, historical depth, and the considered attention that it brings to the conceptual and poetological, material and moral challenges of living in the Anthropocene. For the seasoned Germanist, there are plenty of welcome surprises here, for instance concerning Kant's eco-cosmopolitanism, the comic questioning of techno-optimism in fin-siècle satirical magazines, or the dark ecology of many recent German literary and visual narratives. Yet in addition to advancing environmental approaches within German Studies, Readings in the Anthropocene will contribute substantially to the internationalisation of the environmental humanities, providing ample evidence of the signal importance of German-language thought, literature, film and cultural history to this burgeoning transdisciplinary field.” –  Kate Rigby, Professor of Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University, UK, and Adjunct Professor of Literary Studies, Monash University, Australia

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