University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

GEOG 8980: The Event of the Anthropocene

Fall 2014, Thursdays 2-5pm
Instructors: Bruce Braun and Kate Derikson

The possibility of the ‘Anthropocene’ was posed just over a decade ago, but in the short period since has enjoyed a meteoric career. How should we understand its sudden centrality in public and academic discourse? What new ideas and concepts does it demand, what critical practices, what methodological innovations, and what ethical and political responses?

This seminar explores and evaluates efforts to represent and address the Anthropocene in the arts, humanities and social sciences. In particular, it examines questions of time and temporality (deep time, geological time, temporalities of capital); the relation between the inhuman, the human and the posthuman; new modes of government and administration (resilience, geoengineering); globality, planetarity and postcoloniality; and diverse ethical-political responses (new nihilism, dark ecology, geocommunism, accelerationism). Particular attention will also be paid to the epistemological and methodological challenges of the Anthropocene (experimental criticism, interdisciplinarity, transductive research).

Readings will include, among others: Dipesh Chakrabarty, Nigel Clark, Elizabeth Povinelli, Claire Colebrook, Isabelle Stengers, Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek, Kathryn Yusoff, Reza Negarestani, and Gayatri Spivak.

Requirements will include (a) weekly reading responses, and (b) term paper to be determined in discussion with instructors.
For more information, and registration numbers, please contact Bruce Braun ( or Kate Derickson (