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Shadowing the Anthropocene: Eco-Realism for Turbulent Times

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ISBN: 9781947447875 9781947447882 Year: Pages: 294 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0211.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Environmental Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-26 11:21:04
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A spectre is haunting humanity: the spectre of a reality that will outwit and, in the end, bury us. “The Anthropocene,” or The Human Era, is an attempt to name our geological fate – that we will one day disappear into the layer-cake of Earth’s geology – while highlighting humanity in the starring role of today’s Earthly drama. In Shadowing the Anthropocene, Adrian Ivakhiv proposes an ecological realism that takes as its starting point humanity’s eventual demise. The only question for a realist today, he suggests, is what to do now and what quality of compost to leave behind with our burial. The book engages with the challenges of the Anthropocene and with a series of philosophical efforts to address them, including those of Slavoj Žižek and Charles Taylor, Graham Harman and Timothy Morton, Isabelle Stengers and Bruno Latour, and William Connolly and Jane Bennett. Along the way, there are volcanic eruptions and revolutions, ant cities and dog parks, data clouds and space junk, pagan gods and sacrificial altars, dark flow, souls (of things), and jazz. Ivakhiv draws from centuries old process-relational thinking that hearkens back to Daoist and Buddhist sages, but gains incisive re-invigoration in the philosophies of Charles Sanders Peirce and Alfred North Whitehead. He translates those insights into practices of “engaged Anthropocenic bodymindfulness” – aesthetic, ethical, and ecological practices for living in the shadow of the Anthropocene.

Covert Plants: Vegetal Consciousness and Agency in an Anthropocentric World

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ISBN: 9781947447691 9781947447707 Year: Pages: 266 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0207.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Ecology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-26 11:21:04
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Covert Plants contributes to newly emerging discourses on the implications of vegetal life for the arts and culture. This stretches to changes in our perception of ‘nature’ and to the adapting roles of botany, evolutionary ecology, and environmental aesthetics in the humanities. Its editors and contributors seek various expressions of vegetal life rather than the mere representation of such, and they proceed from the conviction that a rigorous approach to thinking with and through vegetal life must be interdisciplinary. At a time when urgent calls for restorative care and reparative action have been sounded for the environment, this essay volume presents a range of academic and creative perspectives, from evolutionary biology to literary theory, philosophy to poetry, which respond to the perplexing problems and paradoxes of vegetal thinking. Representations of vegetal life often include plant analogies and plant imagery. These representations have at times obscured the diversity of plant behavior and experience. Covert Plants probes the implications of vegetal life for thought and how new plant science is changing our perception of the vegetal — around us and in us. How can we think, speak, and write about plant life without falling into human-nature dyads, or without tumbling into reductive theoretical notions about the always complex relations between cognition and action, identity and value, subject and object? A full view of this shifting perspective requires a ‘stereoscopic’ lens through which to view plants, but also simultaneously to alter our human-centered viewpoint. Plants are no longer the passive object of contemplation, but are increasingly resembling ‘subjects,’ ‘stakeholders,’ or ‘actors.’ As such, the plant now makes unprecedented demands upon the nature of contemplation itself. Moreover, the aesthetic, political, and legal implications of new knowledge regarding plants’ ability to communicate, sense, and learn require intensive, cross-disciplinary investigation. By doing this, we can intervene into current attitudes to climate change and sustainability, and hopefully revise, for the better, human philosophies, ethics, and aesthetics that touch upon plant life.

Meaningful Flesh: Reflections on Religion and Nature for a Queer Planet

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ISBN: 9781947447325 9781947447332 Year: Pages: 152 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0194.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:31
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Religion is much queerer than we ever imagined. Nature is as well. These are the two basic insights that have led to this volume: the authors included here hope to queerly go where no thinkers have gone before. The combination of queer theory and religion has been happening for at least 25 years. People such as John Boswell began to examine the history of religious traditions with a queer eye, and soon after we had the indecent theology of Marcella Althaus Ried. Jay Johnston, one of the authors in this issue, is among those who have used the queer eye to interrogate authority within Christian theological traditions. At the same time, there have been many queer interrogations of “nature,” perhaps most notably in the works of Joan Roughgarden and Ann Fausto-Sterling, and more recently in the works of Catriona Sandilands and Timothy Morton (an author in this volume). However, the intersections of religion, nature, and queer theory have been largely left untouched. With the exception of Dan Spencer, who writes the introduction for this volume and is one of the early pioneers in this realm of thought with his book Gay and Gaia (Pilgrim Press, 1996), and the work of Greta Gaard in developing a queer ecofeminist thought, religion and nature, or religion and ecology, have largely ignored the realm of queer theory. In part, the blinders to queer theory on the part of eco-thinkers (religious or otherwise) are similar to the blinders eco-thinkers have when it comes to postmodern thought in general: namely, if there are no absolute foundations, how does one create an environmental ethic and a “nature” to save? For this reason and many others, this volume on religion, nature, and queer theory is groundbreaking. Though these essays span many different disciplines and themes, they are all held together by the triple focus on religion, nature, and queer theory. Each of these essays offers a unique contribution to the intersection of religion, nature, and queer theory, and all of them challenge strict boundaries proposed in religious rhetoric and many discourses surrounding “nature.” Carol Wayne White’s essay draws from a queer reading of James Baldwin to develop an African American religious naturalism, which highlights humans as polyamorous bastards. Jacob Erickson’s essay examines Isabella Rossellini’s “Green Porno” and Martin Luther’s work to develop an irreverent theology. Jay Johnson draws from personal relationships with his late dog, and Master/Pup fetish-play, to blur the boundaries between humans and other animals, specifically within ethical and theological discourse. Whitney Bauman reflects on how the very processes of globalization and climate change queer our identities and call for a queer and versatile planetary ethic. Finally, Timothy Morton leads us through a reflection on queer green sex toys to challenge the ontology of agrologistics. Each of these essays in their own way is concerned with fleshing out more meaningful encounters with the planetary community. Without being too ambitious, we hope that these sets of essays will help to open up a new trajectory of conversations at the intersection of religion, nature, and queer theory.

The Wind ~ An Unruly Living

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ISBN: 9781947447950 9781947447967 Year: Pages: 176 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0237.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-26 11:21:03
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A process begun in Pisa, Italy in April of 2016 during a workshop on political theory in the Anthropocene, The Wind ~ An Unruly Living is a philosophical exercise (askêsis, translated, following Ignatius of Loyola, as “spiritual exercise”). In his exercise, Bendik-Keymer throws to the void: the ideology of self-ownership from a society of possession. By using the Stoic kanôn, the rule of living by phûsis, he follows an element. Unhappily for the Stoic and happily for us, the wind is unruly. A swerve of currents through a social fabric, it’s full of holes, all holely. Stretch and stitch as you want, it might settle more shapely tattered into light, but it will never become whole. The wind’s only holesome.

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