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AnimalitiesLiterary and Cultural Studies Beyond the Human$
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Michael Lundblad

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474400022

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474400022.001.0001

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Posthuman New York: Ground Zero of the Anthropocene

Posthuman New York: Ground Zero of the Anthropocene

(p.43) Chapter 2 Posthuman New York: Ground Zero of the Anthropocene

Neel Ahuja

Edinburgh University Press

Ahuja calls our attention to the ways that environmentalists, artists, writers, and ecocritics have deployed the idea of “the Anthropocene” in order to critique human-caused climate change and environmental destruction. While this critique might be urgently needed, Ahuja reveals how it also tends to rely upon a universalized and essentialized construction of “the human” that glosses over major differences between various human groups, in which less privileged people are both less culpable and more vulnerable in relation to the dramatic effects that climate change will increasingly have on the planet. Exloring a range of texts emerging after 9/11, from the paintings of Alexis Rockman to Roland Emmerich’s The Day After Tomorrow, Junot Diaz’s “Monstro”, and Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People, Ahuja calls for paying more attention to what he calls “the human of precarious futures,” a figure that seems necessary for dramatizing the dangerous coming results of climate change, but one that also risks flattening out all the ways that racism and inequality and injustice distinguish human groups today and might continue to do so into the future.

Keywords:   Anthropocene, ecocriticism, environmentalism, climate change, “the human of precarious futures”, racism, inequality, Alexis Rockman, Indra Sinha

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