Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene

This CFP from Arun Saldanha and Hannah Stark for a special edition of Deleuze Studies, “Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene,” might be of particular interest to readers:

cfp Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene pic

Twenty years after his death, Deleuze’s thought continues to be mobilised in relation to the most timely and critical problems society faces. As theory is starting to reconcile itself with a grim environmental future and with the emergence of the Anthropocene as a key conceptual framework, we are compelled to consider the philosophical consequences of the irreversible and profound impacts of industrialisation and consumerism on environments at a planetary scale. The Anthropocene disrupts thought itself, requiring that we re-evaluate the human and its place in the cosmos: a third Copernican Revolution. It is widely accepted now that the human species is itself a geological force. Any erstwhile conceptual gap between human and natural history has more or less collapsed. The question whether there could be a “good” or “bad” Anthropocene endows humans with an immense and unprecedented agency in their relationship to the earth, positioning us as accountable for past actions and inactions and future generations. We should beware that this moral dimension tends to offer little more than a biblical version of human stewardship as ostensible solution for the catastrophic futures scientists are alarmed about. It has precisely been such selfish anthropocentrism, and its most vicious avatar, capital, that landed the species in this predicament in the first place.

If the risks embedded in the Anthropocene conceptually unify the human as a species desiring food, energy, art, and a minimum of groundedness, it also brings into relief the ways in which a violent earth further fissures the species along economic, racial and sexual axes. Anthropocene anxiety manifests itself variously in reassessments of the entanglements of the human and the nonhuman, the continuing breakdown of the subject/object distinction, the mania apparent in the plans for geo-engineering, and increasingly popular rethinking of the human body in the context of becomings-animals, -plant and -mineral. The Anthropocene likewise reminds us of the necessity to think at more-than-human timescales. It has required that we consider deep time as well as vast space, reflecting in the process on the inevitability of human extinction and the conception of a world without us. What worlds are there before, beyond and after human time and thought?

In philosophical debates, the Anthropocene has seen an invigoration of cultural and ethical theorizing through the “posthumanist” redeployment of phenomenology, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, philosophy of science and literary theory. What might the significance of Deleuze and Guattari be in relation to this new and urgent set of concerns? Deleuze’s work presaged much of the concept of the Anthropocene, not only in his sustained challenges to humanism, anthropocentrism and capitalism, but also through his interest in geology and the philosophy of time. Guattari was keen on giving his work an “ecosophical” and “cartographical” dimension. Together, they posited a “geophilosophy” which called for a “new earth” along with “new peoples”. Not only does the work of Deleuze and Guattari offer a range of useful concepts that can be applied to contemporary problems such as anthropogenic climate change, peak oil and biotechnology, but it also models the kind of interdisciplinarity that the new epoch of the Anthropocene requires.

This special issue of Deleuze Studies, “Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene”, will engage the many philosophical tools provided by Deleuze and Guattari and their interlocutors in order to critically approach our particularly tense moment in earth history, while also asking how this moment could change the ways they are read and further developed into the future.

We invite considerations of Deleuze, Guattari, or Deleuze-Guattari in relation to the Anthropocene from scholars working in any discipline. Contributions should be 6-8000 words in length and use the journal’s style. Abstracts are due on the 1st of March 2015, decisions will be made by the 15th of March, and final essays due on the 1st of November 2015. Articles will then be subject to double-blind peer review and will be published in 2016.

Please address queries to the editors:

Hannah Stark, School of Humanities, University of Tasmania (Australia)

Arun Saldanha, Department of Geography, Environment and Society, University of Minnesota (United States)


2 thoughts on “Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene

  1. troyrhoades

    Reblogged this on Drops of Experience and commented:
    Arun Saldanha and Hannah Stark are the editors of an upcoming special edition of Deleuze Studies titled, “Deleuze and Guattari in the Anthropocene.” Here is the CFP.

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