Vai alla Homepage del Portale di Ateneo Curriculum Global cultures Second cycle degree/Two year Master in History and Oriental Studies


from 16 April 2018 to 20 April 2018

5.00-7.00 pm • Aula SPECOLA

Prof. Giacomo Parrinello (Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po ​– CHSP)

“The planet is in the species of alterity, belonging to another system. And yet we inhabit it.” Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

According to a growing number of scientists, the Earth has entered a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene, which is characterized by the unprecedented geological agency of the human species. Which relationship exists between the “global” of globalization and the “global” of global warming?  Does the Anthropocene debate amount to a reconfiguration of the global as a field of scholarly investigation? What kind of interconnections between global history and geological history are at stake? How does this affect historical thought? This seminar will explore some key points of an ongoing debate which involves natural scientists and social theorists along with historians and literary scholars.  It will introduce the concept of Anthropocene as elaborated in the natural sciences and debate some of its repercussions for historical thinking and writing: the alternative genealogies of the Anthropocene, the epistemological implications of the collapsing times of Earth and World, and the re-localizations some scholars are urging us to think with in the new era.

The seminar will be entirely based on the collective discussion of selected readings listed below. It is thus essential that students read attentively the assigned articles and chapters beforehand and be prepared to make informed comments about them.

1)     Welcome to the Anthropocene

  • Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer, “The Anthropocene.” Global Change Newsletter 41 (2000): pp. 17-18.
  • Paul Crutzen, “Geology of Mankind.” Nature 415, 31 (2002): p. 23.
  • William Steffen, Paul Crutzen, and John McNeill, “The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature?” Ambio 36, 8 (2007): pp. 614–621.
  • Colin N. Waters, et al. 2016. “The Anthropocene Is Functionally and Stratigraphically Distinct from the Holocene.” Science 351, 6269 (2016): pp. 1-10.
  • William Steffen, et al. “The Anthropocene: Conceptual and Historical perspectives,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 369 (2011): pp. 842-867.

 2)     Anthropocene or Capitalocene?

  • Jason Moore, “Anthropocene or Capitalocene? On the Nature and Origins of our Ecological Crisis” in J. Moore, Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital, London Verso 2015: pp. 169-192.
  • Andreas Malm and Alf Hornborg, “The Geology of Mankind? A Critique of the Anthropocene.” The Anthropocene Review 1, 1 (2014): pp. 62-69.
  • Timothy Mitchell, “Machines of Democracy”, in T. Mitchell, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, London, Verso 2011: pp. 12-42.

 3)     Epistemological Disruptions

  •  Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” Critical Inquiry 35 (2009): pp. 197-222.
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Climate and Capital: On Conjoined Histories.” Critical Inquiry 41 (2014): pp. 1-23.
  • Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1-9.

 4)      Gaia and Chthulu: Re-localizations

  • Bruno Latour, “The Anthropocene and the Destruction of (the Image of) the Globe,” in B. Latour, Facing Gaia: Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime, Polity Press, Cambridge 2017: 111-145.
  • Donna Haraway, “Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene”, in D. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chtulucene, Duke University Press, Durham and London 2016:  30-57.