Humans influence everything. Scientists, humanists, and other popularizers have adopted the term Anthropocene to define the current geologic period: the epoch of humanity. The buzzword emanates from prominent environmentalists and has become common in mainstream media. It is also on the lips of philosophers, political theorists, and other public intellectuals. Its rapid gains in popularity owe in part to the simplicity of the idea—the Earth and its systems are shaped so profoundly by human activity as to now be considered a product of it—and to the urgency of its emblematic crisis, climate change.
Noting this trend, the Public Humanist seeks humanities-based responses to the Anthropocene, asking how our various disciplines shift in light of this new perspective. After all, the humanities ought to flourish in a time of significant biospheric human influence.
Articles in this theme will concern topics like the following:
- How we currently relate to, use, and value the planet, or how those approaches have changed across history, cultures, etc.
- Distinctions or convergences between human history and natural history
- The environmental effects of social institutions, cultural practices, and cultural forms
- Bridges between the humanities and the sciences, especially in the environmental context
- Other humanities approaches to addressing planetary challenges
As always, a stipend of $200 is available to bloggers who publish three or more pieces for the Public Humanist. If you are interested in contributing an article to the Public Humanist, please contact us using our scholar involvement form.