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Christopher Schaberg

Searching for the Anthropocene

Today is a conversation with Christopher Schaberg and we’re discussing his most recent book Searching for the Anthropocene’.

Chris is a professor of English at Loyola University and unlike many discussions about this topic of the anthropocene that tend to quote unquite Tell’ you something about the anthropocene as if it’s a fully congealed known, Chris instead reveals glimmers through personal experiences and conversations with collogues that help reframe what we might believe to already know. I think Chris’s book helps highlight that a single term like the Anthropocene can never be sufficient for conveying the concepts and implications still to come. 

Chris’s stories in the woods of Michigan highlight for me the importance of continually re-framing and questioning where we are and how we might move forward. In some ways, the hubris in believing we could even fully understand our current situation is likely what helped get us into this position in the first place. Maybe it’s best to maintain a long now that refrains from allowing a single picture to emerge. We might be at a moment in need of iterations, explorations and unkowns to remain unshaped and baggy. This could very well be a chance to even question some of the fundamental assumptions about ourselves and how we live and that we take for granted as norms. But again, these are just some thoughts that reveal themselves while reading Chris’s book. 

For those of you interested, Chris and I spoke about two years back on Episode 32 called Worlds World World. In that conversation we discussed Donna Harraway’s book Staying With the Troubles’. So have a listen to that if you like. 

Christopher Schaberg

Christopher Schaberg is Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, USA. In addition to his new book Searching for the Anthropocene: A Journey into the Environmental Humanities, he is the author of The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight (2012), The End of Airports (2015), Airportness: The Nature of Flight (2017), and The Work of Literature In An Age of Post-Truth (2018). He is series co-editor (with Ian Bogost) of Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons.

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