Thinking the Anthropocene is a reading group that will interrogate the challenges that emerge in representing the Anthropocene. Over our first series of meetings, we’ll engage with critical work by scholars to better define the role of the humanities in the age of the Anthropocene.


“Anthropocene” names the geological epoch in which anthropos, or “the human,” emerges as a central mediating force of the global environment. Since its coinage by biologist Eugene Stoermer and atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen at the end of the 20th century, the term has been a point of productive contention for critical inquiry. As a result, the Anthropocene has emerged as a site of interdisciplinary tension and collaboration, as scholars across academic disciplines work to elaborate what exactly this newfound planetary agency means for the future of the human, alongside the rest of the planetary system.

With this problematic in mind, Thinking the Anthropocene will interrogate the challenges that emerge in representing the Anthropocene: How do we meaningfully portray a phenomenon as broad and amorphous as climate change? How does our understanding of “the human” have to change to account for our unevenly-distributed geological agency? Perhaps more to the point, how can the Anthropocene be represented in such a way that not only catalyzes recognition but also mobilizes some kind of meaningful and organized response? We will engage with critical work by scholars like Margaret Grebowicz, Tim Morton, Stacy Alaimo, and Eben Kirksey, in an effort to better define the role of the humanities in the age of the Anthropocene.


The group will meet approximately every three weeks to discuss work that emerges at the intersection of humanities criticism and the Anthropocene. Our first series of meetings will run January to April 2019.

Milieux Resource Room  – EV 11.705 1515
St-Catherine ST. W.
Concordia University, Montreal


Reading Schedule:

25 January (Fri 10:00-12:00): Margret Grebowicz’s “Glacial Time and Lonely Crowds: The Social Effects of Climate Change as Internet Spectacle” Environmental Humanities (2014) 5.1: 1-22.
Nicholas de Pencier “Evidence” Anthropocene (2018: 205-207)

19 February (Tues 2-4): Eben Kirksey “Queer Love, Gender Bending Bacteria, and Life after the Anthropocene” Theory, Culture and Society 0.0 2018: 1-23.

8 March (Fri 10:00-12:00): Nick Dyer-Witheford’s “Struggles in the Planet Factory: Class Composition and Global Warming” Interrogating the Anthropocene 2018: 75-103

April 5 (Fri 10:00-12:00): Tim Morton’s “From Modernity to the Anthropocene: Ecology and Art in the Age of Asymmetry” International Social Science Journal 63.207/208 2014: 39-51

26 April (Fri 10:00-12:00): Stacy Alaimo’s “Your Shell on Acid: Material Immersion, Anthropocene Dissolves” Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times (2016: 143-168)


For further information, or if you would like to participate in this reading group, contact Dr. Jill Didur in advance of the reading date at jill.didur@concordia.ca