Interview with Joel Alden Schlosser, author of Herodotus in the Anthropocene

Goren, Lilly | from Multimedia Library Collection:
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Goren, Lilly. “Joel Alden Schlosser, ‘Herodotus in the Anthropocene.’” New Books in Political Science, May 27, 2021. Mp3, 49:24.

Political Theorist Joel Alden Schlosser has turned his attention to Herodotus, an historian and political thinker from classical Greece, to learn how we might better think about and consider solutions to significant contemporary problems, especially those that contribute to global climate change. Schlosser explains that we are currently living in a new geologic and climatic age, the Anthropocene, which is defined as the current period where humans have had a direct effect on the geology and climate of the earth and the surrounding atmosphere. In finding ourselves in this new and potentially catastrophic period, we need to consider how to stop or solve this ongoing and evolving environmental crisis. Schlosser encourages us to turn out attention to Herodotus and his Histories, and he argues that these works, which dive into thinking about community and collective engagement, may provide guidance for contemporary politics and society… . Herodotus, as Schlosser notes, is a storyteller, and in the way that he tells stories, instead of writing factual histories like Thucydides, or making logical arguments like so many philosophers, Herodotus is able to engage in complexities of examples and of thinking. This mode of storytelling comes from older Greek traditions of the oral tales like those that Homer sang, or that the playwrights of Athens produced to communicate comedy and tragedy. This approach allows Herodotus to integrate not just the human experience, but also the experience of the non-human, all of the systems of energy that also exist and are natural, like the weather, the geography of a place, animals and other wildlife, diseases and illnesses. This weaving together of the human and the natural and non-human lays out a complexity of thinking and understanding that Schlosser suggests can be quite important for us to learn as we face complex natural, human, and non-human systems of energy that we need to repair or work collaboratively with in order to try to solve some of the more significant problems of the Anthropocene.

 (Source: New Books Network)

In this episode of New Books in Political Science, Lilly J. Goren interviews Joel Alden Schlosser, author of Herodotus in the Anthropocene.

© 2021 New Books Network