New Book: Anthropocene Reading

“With ecocritical voices debating the possibilities—and horrors—of the Anthropocene, Anthropocene Reading is a major contribution to ecocriticism and a delight to read.” —Heather I. Sullivan, Trinity University

“Ranging as it does from the crowded present into deep time, where the most immediate and personal of human stories intermesh with planetary narrative, Anthropocene Reading is a deeply thought-provoking volume.” —Jan A. Zalasiewicz, author of The Goldilocks Planet: The Four Billion Year Story of Earth’s Climate

“An ambitious and exhilarating collection. . . . The book will appeal to readers from a host of disciplines, from geology to history, geography, and literary studies.” —Rob Nixon, author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

Entering into conversation with geologists and geographers, this volume reinterprets the cultural past in relation to the anthropogenic transformation of the Earth system while showcasing how literary analysis may help us conceptualize this geohistorical event. The contributors examine how a range of literary texts, from The Tempest to contemporary dystopian novels to the poetry of Emily Dickinson, mediate the convergence of the social institutions, energy regimes, and planetary systems that support the reproduction of life. They explore the long-standing dialogue between imaginative literature and the earth sciences and show how scientists, novelists, and poets represent intersections of geological and human timescales, the deep past and a posthuman future, political exigency and the carbon cycle.

Contributors include Juliana Chow, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Thomas H. Ford, Anne-Lise François, Noah Heringman, Matt Hooley, Stephanie LeMenager, Dana Luciano, Steve Mentz, Benjamin Morgan, Justin Neuman, Jennifer Wenzel, and Derek Woods.

Tobias Menely is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Davis, and the author of The Animal Claim: Sensibility and the Creaturely Voice.

Jesse Oak Taylor is Associate Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle and the author of The Sky of Our Manufacture: The London Fog in British Fiction from Dickens to Woolf.