Current EH Visiting Fellow Jeremy Davies, University of Leeds, will give a talk on his research on Wednesday 19th September.
Structure and Difference in the Geologic Time Scale, or the Anthropocene contra the Age of Man
The idea that the Earth has recently entered the ‘human era’ or the ‘age of humans’ has been a familiar one ever since the eighteenth century. Are recent debates about the ‘Anthropocene’ just the latest iteration of that commonplace? In this talk, I will try to show that they are not. I will explore a specific version of the Anthropocene: the one that has been elaborated in recent geological science. Geologists have conceived of the Anthropocene as a new component part of the Geologic Time Scale, the ‘calendar’ of Earth’s history. Understood in that way, the Anthropocene has to be understood in the deep context of planetary time. The world is ostensibly becoming ever more humanised. And yet in order to make sense of the contemporary environmental crisis, it is becoming ever more necessary to pay attention to thoroughly inhuman timescales.
Venue: The Project Room (1.06), 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh