Contemporary Studies Network Roundtable: Responding to Robert Macfarlane’s ‘Generation Anthropocene’

Rachel Sykes, Arin Keeble, Daniel Cordle, Joanne Scott, Diletta De Cristofaro, Daniel King, Andrew Rowcroft, Neelam Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

In April 2016, The Guardian published ‘Generation Anthropocene: How humans have altered the planet forever’ by the celebrated academic and nature writer Robert Macfarlane. Reflecting on the article’s importance as a critical experiment and, perhaps, a vital form of public engagement, Contemporary Studies Network (CSN) asked six of its members, working across very different areas of literary and cultural studies, to respond to and extend Macfarlane’s article, mapping the different ways in which literary scholars might approach the age of the Anthropocene. Conducted via email, this roundtable conversation asks to what extent the Anthropocene marks a new era in literary criticism, how exactly it extends preexisting strands of ecocriticism and trauma studies, and what the global scope of the term might be beyond the confines of the Western literary canon. Discussion ranges from issues of temporality to genre and form and it also addresses Macfarlane’s rhetoric, his call to arms for those working in the humanities, for a more comprehensive investigation in to the roles of literature and art in responding to and representing what may become a new epoch.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages48
JournalOpen Library of Humanities
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

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