The Great Derangement

Author: Amitav Ghosh
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226323039
Release Date: 2016-09-14
Genre: Literary Criticism

Is our imagination adequate to the realities of global warming? The novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that we need art and literature to help us imagine our future in the Anthropocene, but that they are falling short of the task. If culture cannot help us see the realities of our plight, then our era, which so congratulates itself on its self-awareness, may come to be known as the time of the Great Derangement. A case in point is fiction, which is so committed to normalcy and the everyday that it has no space for the improbability of climate change events the persistent droughts, hundred-year storms, and freakish tornadoes. Our politics, likewise, seems unable to mobilize forcefully in response to climate change. Ghosh argues that politics, like literature, has become a matter of individual moral reckoning, a journey of the solitary conscience rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. A powerful nonfiction work by one of our most gifted, historically attuned novelists, "The Great Derangement "brings a fresh urgency to thinking on climate change. "

At Nature s Edge

Author: Gunnel Cederlöf
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199093892
Release Date: 2018-09-18
Genre: History

In an epoch when environmental issues make the headlines, this is a work that goes beyond the everyday. Ecologies as diverse as the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean coast, the Negev desert and the former military bases of Vietnam, or the Namib desert and the east African savannah all have in common a long-time human presence and the many ways people have modified nature. With research covering countries from Asia, Africa, and Australia, the authors come together to ask how and why human impacts on nature have grown in scale and pace from a long pre-history. The chapters in this volume illumine specific patterns and responses across time, going beyond an overt centring of the European experience. The tapestry of life and the human reshaping of environments evoke both concern and hope, making it vital to understand when, why, and how we came to this particular turn in the road. Eschewing easy labels and questioning eurocentrism in today’s climate vocabulary, this is a volume that will stimulate rethinking among scholars and citizens alike.