Posthumanist Praxis and the Paradoxes of Agency, Responsibility and Organization in the 'Anthropocene'

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Initially framed as a provocation intended to challenge the exclusion of human activity from studies of long-term physical changes in the earth system, the Anthropocene remains an essentially contested concept. Despite its increasing prevalence across multiple disciplines and fields, there is little consensus over its veracity either as a geological, socio- environmental or socio-historical hypothesis. But for anyone committed to thinking seriously about what used to be called society-environment relations, engagement with the Anthropocene is now inescapable. This chapter engages with the Anthropocene from the perspective of posthumanist thought, arguing that whilst the concept is riddled with contradictions, tensions and potential flaws, these are also productive paradoxes which can contribute to our thinking, ethics and politics in the context of the spiralling ecological crisis. The discussion undertakes a critical posthumanist reading of the Anthropocene, with particular attention to its central paradoxes around agency and responsibility, and the implications for various influential approaches to environmental politics and green social transition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Animal Organization Studies
EditorsLinda Tallberg, Lindsay Hamilton
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780192848185
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2022

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks
PublisherOxford University Press


  • Anthropocene
  • Posthumanism
  • Biodiversity
  • Nature Crisis
  • Extinction
  • Green New Deal
  • Half-Earth
  • Rewilding
  • Decolonial
  • Degrowth


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