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CSS Student Colloquium: Dann Grotum Nielsen

Desynchronizing the Anthropocene

31.10.2019 | Kristian Hvidtfelt Nielsen

Dato ons 27 nov
Tid 15:15 16:00
Sted G4 (1532-222)

Abstract

In this presentation, I will analyse and discuss claims made about ‘the Anthropocene’ using the analytical concept of synchronization. J. R. McNeill and Peter Engelke laments, in their widely read The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945 (2014), that it will be quite a while before historians agree on the proper periodization of the Anthropocene. While they recommend a starting point somewhere between 1945 and 1950, others have suggested dates such as 1610, 1492, 7,000 years ago, or 12,000 to 15,000 years ago as the appropriate placement of the so-called ‘Golden Spike’. I will introduce my presentation by recounting the arguments for and against some of these claims on the proper synchroniza-tion of the Anthropocene. Subsequently, I will argue – using Helge Jordheim’s (2014, 2017) work on synchronicity – that global spaces necessitate the analysis of temporal multiplicities and nonsynchronicities. Instead of attempting a singular, homogenous temporal regime, we, as historians, ought to accept the multiplicity and heterogeneity of Anthropocenes. Furthermore, my conclusions will coincide with those of geographer Kathryn Yusoff (2019) who has recently argued that the temporal limits of the “Anthropocene-in-the-making” should not be set by traditionally European natural science, but instead embrace “a billion missing articulations of geologic events” by people outside of the Western world.

Coffee, tea, cakes and fruit will be served before the colloquium @ 3 pm

Studenterkollokvium