Content Index

Greg Garrard, Gary Handwerk, and Sabine Wilke, editors of the special section titled “Imagining Anew: Challenges of Representing the Anthropocene,” introduce this collection of essays from diverse humanities disciplines.

In the special section “Imagining Anew: Challenges of Representing the Anthropocene,” Tobias Boes examines the hermeneutic and poetic operations by which we as human beings turn our very planet into a signifier for our collective existence as a species, a process he refers to as “planetary mediation.”

In the special section “Imagining Anew: Challenges of Representing the Anthropocene”, Thomas Lekan offers a postcolonial critique of recent environmentalist literature and exhibitions that frame the Anthropocene using the NASA Apollo mission’s Earthrise (1968) and Blue Marble (1972) photographs from space.

In the special section “Imagining Anew: Challenges of Representing the Anthropocene,” Alexa Weik von Mossner analyzes Dale Pendell’s speculative novel The Great Bay.

Andrew Whitehouse considers the semiotics of listening to birds in the Anthropocene by drawing on Kohn’s recent arguments on the semiotics of more-than-human relations and Ingold’s understanding of the world as a meshwork, and comparing the work of Bernie Krause with responses to the the Listening to Birds project.

Owain Jones raises questions about the relationships between self, time, memory, materiality, and place, using a non-representational creative approach based on image and textual collage.

Anna Svenson considers the epistemological implications of the digitization of the Directors’ Correspondence (DC) collection (1841-1928) at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She concludes that care is needed to avoid replicating the invisible losses of extractive approaches to knowledge production, particularly in the context of collection-based biodiversity conservation.

Investigating the natural landscapes and built structures at the Manzanar National Historic Site, the first of ten incarceration camps to open in 1941 and a temporary home for over 11,000 Japanese Americans, Jennifer K. Ladino
develops the notion of affective agency to describe the impacts generated by environments and objects there.

For the special section “Living Lexicon for the Environmental Humanities,” Kate Wright points to a photograph of two young men laughing as their hair stands up, only to be struck by lightning moments later, as a reminder of how tragic and dangerous the cognitive illusion of human exceptionalism can be. She sees Environmental Humanities as an attempt to address the systemic pathology of a species disconnected from the conditions of its world.

For the special section “Living Lexicon for the Environmental Humanities,” Thom van Dooren offers a meditation on “care” as a practice of worlding, asking what it means to care for others at the edge of extinction, and arguing for the importance of placing care at the center of critical work.