Whose land is it anyway? Open access book on decolonialism in Canada

whose land is it anyways

 

This is a fantastic, and timely, open-access book from some of Canada’s leading thinkers on Indigenous relations to land, law, education, and much else. There’s no simple way to capture the variety of the contributions in this decolonial handbook, except to say they are all worth reading. Download the PDF here: McFarlane and Schabus Whose land is it anyway 2018

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Future Remains: a cabinet of curiosities for the Anthropocene (new book!)

Another great looking new book, from University of Chicago Press, with a slate of well regarded contributors.

9780226508658Future Remains: a cabinet of curiosities for the Anthropocene

Edited by: Gregg Mitman, Marco Armiero, Robert S. Emmett

Description:

What can a pesticide pump, a jar full of sand, or an old calico print tell us about the Anthropocene—the age of humans? Just as paleontologists look to fossil remains to infer past conditions of life on earth, so might past and present-day objects offer clues to intertwined human and natural histories that shape our planetary futures. In this era of aggressive hydrocarbon extraction, extreme weather, and severe economic disparity, how might certain objects make visible the uneven interplay of economic, material, and social forces that shape relationships among human and nonhuman beings?

Future Remains is a thoughtful and creative meditation on these questions. The fifteen objects gathered in this book resemble more the tarots of a fortuneteller than the archaeological finds of an expedition—they speak of planetary futures. Marco Armiero, Robert S. Emmett, and Gregg Mitman have assembled a cabinet of curiosities for the Anthropocene, bringing together a mix of lively essays, creatively chosen objects, and stunning photographs by acclaimed photographer Tim Flach. The result is a book that interrogates the origins, implications, and potential dangers of the Anthropocene and makes us wonder anew about what exactly human history is made of.

Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
Gregg Mitman, Marco Armiero, and Robert S. Emmett

The Anthropocene: The Promise and Pitfalls of an Epochal Idea
Rob Nixon

Hubris

• Anthropocene in a Jar
Tomas Matza and Nicole Heller
• Concretes Speak
Rachel Harkness, Cristián Simonetti, and Judith Winter
• The Age of (a) Man
Joseph Masco
• The Manual Pesticide Spray Pump
Michelle Mart and Cameron Muir

• Hubris or Humility: Genealogies of the Anthropocene
Gregg Mitman

Living and Dying

• Huia Echoes
Julianne Lutz Warren
• Snarge
Gary Kroll
• Marine Animal Satellite Tags
Nils Hanwahr
• Artificial Coral Reef
Josh Wodak
• Freezing Life in the Anthropocene
Elizabeth Hennessy

• Racism and the Anthropocene
Laura Pulido

• Sabotaging the Anthropocene; or, In the Praise of Mutiny
Marco Armiero

Laboring

• On Possibility; or, The Monkey Wrench
Daegan Miller
• The German Calico Quilt
Bethany Wiggin

• Anthropocene Aesthetics
Robert S. Emmett

Making

• The Mirror—Testing the Counter-Anthropocene
Sverker Sörlin
• Objects from Anna Schwartz’s Cabinet of Curiosities
Judit Hersko
• Technofossil
Jared Farmer
• Davies Creek Road
Trisha Carroll and Mandy Martin

Anthropocene Cabinets of Curiosity: Objects of Strange Change
Libby Robin

New book from Christopher Preston: The Synthetic Age: Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World

9780262037617I’ve long enjoyed reading Christopher Preston’s work on environmental ethics and look forward to this new book with MIT Press out later this spring.

The Synthetic Age: Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World

Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World

We have all heard that there are no longer any places left on Earth untouched by humans. The significance of this goes beyond statistics documenting melting glaciers and shrinking species counts. It signals a new geological epoch. In The Synthetic Age, Christopher Preston argues that what is most startling about this coming epoch is not only how much impact humans have had but, more important, how much deliberate shaping they will start to do. Emerging technologies promise to give us the power to take over some of Nature’s most basic operations. It is not just that we are exiting the Holocene and entering the Anthropocene; it is that we are leaving behind the time in which planetary change is just the unintended consequence of unbridled industrialism. A world designed by engineers and technicians means the birth of the planet’s first Synthetic Age.

Preston describes a range of technologies that will reconfigure Earth’s very metabolism: nanotechnologies that can restructure natural forms of matter; “molecular manufacturing” that offers unlimited repurposing; synthetic biology’s potential to build, not just read, a genome; “biological mini-machines” that can outdesign evolution; the relocation and resurrection of species; and climate engineering attempts to manage solar radiation by synthesizing a volcanic haze, cool surface temperatures by increasing the brightness of clouds, and remove carbon from the atmosphere with artificial trees that capture carbon from the breeze.

What does it mean when humans shift from being caretakers of the Earth to being shapers of it? And in whom should we trust to decide the contours of our synthetic future? These questions are too important to be left to the engineers.

Rivers of the Anthropocene: new (Free!) book now available

This is a great looking new title, available here for free by the University of California Press. Regular UC Press site here.

9780520295025Rivers of the Anthropocene

Jason M. Kelly, Philip Scarpino , Helen Berry, James Syvitski , Michel Meybeck (Eds)

This exciting volume presents the work and research of the Rivers of the Anthropocene Network, an international collaborative group of scientists, social scientists, humanists, artists, policymakers, and community organizers working to produce innovative transdisciplinary research on global freshwater systems. In an attempt to bridge disciplinary divides, the essays in this volume address the challenge in studying the intersection of biophysical and human sociocultural systems in the age of the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch of humans’ own making. Featuring contributions from authors in a rich diversity of disciplines—from toxicology to archaeology to philosophy— this book is an excellent resource for students and scholars studying both freshwater systems and the Anthropocene.

My new book! Water: Abundance, Scarcity, and Security in the Age of Humanity

FoylesI am very pleased to announce that my new book is out. Technically, Amazon and other outlets might not ship it until April 4th, but I saw it on the shelf at Foyles, and that is out in the wild enough for me.

There are descriptions on my site here, and at NYU Press here. From the NYU site the book can be purchased at a 20% discount using the code SPR17 at the check out.

I think the book will be of special interest to anthropologists and geographers in addition to those interested broadly about the history of ideas that have shaped water management. One of the key points of the book is that there was and remains a lot of traffic between the social sciences and policy makers, which hasn’t always proved positive for clear thinking about water, the state, and the academy. In fact, it is often failed strains of these disciplines that have the most effect on water management. So, in a way, the book is a history of losing ideas…ideas that lost both in intellectual circles by new ideas that surpassed them but also often lost from view. That is, these ideas that are alive and well in practice have gone virtually unaccounted for in the history of how water was managed to fit liberal societies to an account of geological agency that began in the 19th century and has carried through (indeed shaped) how water resources are understood in the Anthropocene.

Latour’s new book assembles big names to “Reset Modernity!”

MIT Press has its new site live for Bruno Latour’s new book Reset Modernity! The book has many leading thinkers making contributions; description below for what looks like a provocative new work:

9780262034593_0Overview

Modernity has had so many meanings and tries to combine so many contradictory sets of attitudes and values that it has become impossible to use it to define the future. It has ended up crashing like an overloaded computer. Hence the idea is that modernity might need a sort of reset. Not a clean break, not a “tabula rasa,” not another iconoclastic gesture, but rather a restart of the complicated programs that have been accumulated, over the course of history, in what is often called the “modernist project.” This operation has become all the more urgent now that the ecological mutation is forcing us to reorient ourselves toward an experience of the material world for which we don’t seem to have good recording devices.

Reset Modernity!
is organized around six procedures that might induce the readers to reset some of those instruments. Once this reset has been completed, readers might be better prepared for a series of new encounters with other cultures. After having been thrown into the modernist maelstrom, those cultures have difficulties that are just as grave as ours in orienting themselves within the notion of modernity. It is not impossible that the course of those encounters might be altered after modernizers have reset their own way of recording their experience of the world.

At the intersection of art, philosophy, and anthropology, Reset Modernity! has assembled close to sixty authors, most of whom have participated, in one way or another, in the Inquiry into Modes of Existence initiated by Bruno Latour. Together they try to see whether such a reset and such encounters have any practicality. Much like the two exhibitions Iconoclash and Making Things Public, this book documents and completes what could be called a “thought exhibition:” Reset Modernity! held at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe from April to August 2016. Like the two others, this book, generously illustrated, includes contributions, excerpts, and works from many authors and artists.

Contributors
Jamie Allen, Terence Blake, Johannes Bruder, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Philip Conway, Michael Cuntz, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Didier Debaise, Gerard de Vries, Philippe Descola, Vinciane Despret, Jean-Michel Frodon, Martin Giraudeau, Sylvain Gouraud, Lesley Green, Martin Guinard-Terrin, Clive Hamilton, Graham Harman, Antoine Hennion, Andrés Jaque, Pablo Jensen, Bruno Karsenti, Sara Keel, Oleg Kharkhordin, Joseph Leo Koerner, Eduardo Kohn, Bruno Latour, Christophe Leclercq, Vincent-Antonin Lépinay, James Lovelock, Patrice Maniglier, Claudia Mareis, Claude Marzotto, Kyle McGee, Lorenza Mondada, Pierre Montebello, Stephen Muecke, Cyril Neyrat, Cormac O’Keeffe, Hans Ulrich Obrist, P3G, John Palmesino, Nicolas Prignot, Donato Ricci, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Maia Sambonet, Henning Schmidgen, Isabelle Stengers, Hanna Svensson, Thomas Thwaites, Nynke van Schepen, Consuelo Vásquez, Peter Weibel, Richard White, Aline Wiame, Jan Zalasiewicz

New Earth Politics: new book out soon on politics in the #Anthropocene

Details from MIT Press Here9780262034364

New Earth Politics

Essays from the Anthropocene

Overview

Humanity’s collective impact on the Earth is vast. The rate and scale of human-driven environmental destruction is quickly outstripping our political and social capacities for managing it. We are in effect creating an Earth 2.0 on which the human signature is everywhere, a “new earth” in desperate need of humane and insightful guidance. In this volume, prominent scholars and practitioners in the field of global environmental politics consider the ecological and political realities of life on the new earth, and probe the field’s deepest and most enduring questions at a time of increasing environmental stress. Arranged in complementary pairs, the essays in this volume include reflections on environmental pedagogy, analysis of new geopolitical realities, reflections on the power of social movements and international institutions, and calls for more compelling narratives to promote environmental action.

At the heart of the volume is sustained attention to the role of traditional scholarly activities in a world confronting environmental disaster. Some contributors make the case that it is the scholar’s role to provide activists with the necessary knowledge and tools; others argue for more direct engagement and political action. All the contributors confront the overriding question: What is the best use of their individual and combined energies, given the dire environmental reality?

Contributors
Erik Assadourian, Frank Biermann, Wil Burns, Ken Conca, Peter Dauvergne, Daniel Deudney, Navroz Dubash, Richard Falk, Joyeeta Gupta, Maria Ivanova, Peter Jacques, Sikina Jinnah, Karen T. Litfin, Michael F. Maniates, E. A. Mendenhall, Simon Nicholson, Kate O’Neill, Judith Shapiro, Paul Wapner, Oran R. Young

The Shock of the Anthropocene: the Earth, history, and us

This is an interesting looking book, from anthro_r6_erichuVerso.

“Scientists tell us that the Earth has entered a new epoch: the Anthropocene. We are not facing simply an environmental crisis, but a geological revolution of human origin. In two centuries, our planet has tipped into a state unknown for millions of years. How did we get to this point?

Refuting the convenient view of a “human species” that upset the Earth system unaware of what it was doing, this book proposes a new account of modernity that shakes up many accepted ideas: on the supposedly recent date of “environmental awareness,” on previous challenges to industrialism, on the manufacture of consumerism and the energy “transition,” as well as on the role of the military in environmental destruction.

Through a dialogue between science and history, the authors draw an ecological balance sheet of a developmental model that has become unsustainable, and explore paths for living and acting politically in the Anthropocene.”

Water 4.0: New book by David Sedlak

526d4ff5c3c7d88264ab6f1c6bbebe2fA great new book is coming out this year from Yale University Press. Here is the book’s website, a description of the book and a keynote lecture by the author.

“Turn on the faucet, and water pours out. Pull out the drain plug, and the dirty water disappears. Most of us give little thought to the hidden systems that bring us water and take it away when we’re done with it. But these underappreciated marvels of engineering face an array of challenges that cannot be solved without a fundamental change to our relationship with water, David Sedlak explains in this enlightening book. To make informed decisions about the future, we need to understand the three revolutions in urban water systems that have occurred over the past 2,500 years and the technologies that will remake the system.   The author starts by describing Water 1.0, the early Roman aqueducts, fountains, and sewers that made dense urban living feasible. He then details the development of drinking water and sewage treatment systems—the second and third revolutions in urban water. He offers an insider’s look at current systems that rely on reservoirs, underground pipe networks, treatment plants, and storm sewers to provide water that is safe to drink, before addressing how these water systems will have to be reinvented. For everyone who cares about reliable, clean, abundant water, this book is essential reading.”

New Book: Christiana Peppard’s “Just Water”

Christiana Peppard’s new book is now out with Orbis books and available at amazon. It analyzes the value of fresh water at the intersections of hydrology, ecology, ethics, theology, and Catholic social thought. It is also very readable for the non-expert, which is no small feat given the topics it covers.

Just WaterJust Water: Theology, Ethics and the Global Water Crisis

Do we truly understand the significance of fresh water in an era of economic globalization? Aimed at the educated non-specialist as well as scholars, Just Water explores important aspects of the global fresh water crisis while also providing ethical analysis and principled recommendations about fresh water use and scarcity in the 21st century.

Ultimately, Just Water invites us to expand global discourse about the value of fresh water—unique, non-substitutable substance that serves as a baseline for human existence. At the same time this book offers tools for understanding and appreciating contemporary ethical problems posed by looming fresh water scarcity in the 21st century.