Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have transformed the Earth's atmosphere, committing our planet to more extreme weather, rising sea levels, melting polar ice caps, and mass extinction. This period of observable human impact on the Earth's ecosystems has been called the Anthropocene Age. The anthropogenic climate change that has impacted the Earth has also affected our literature, but criticism of the contemporary vel has t adequately recognized the literary response to this level of environmental crisis. Ecocriticism's theories of place and planet, meanwhile, are troubled by a climate that is neither natural r under human control. Anthropocene Fictions is the first systematic examination of the hundreds of vels that have been written about anthropogenic climate change. Drawing on climatology, the sociology and philosophy of science, geography, and environmental ecomics, Adam Trexler argues that the vel has become an essential tool to construct meaning in an age of climate change. The vel expands the reach of climate science beyond the laboratory or model, turning abstract predictions into subjectively tangible experiences of place, identity, and culture. Political and ecomic organizations are also being transformed by their struggle for sustainability. In turn, the vel has been forced to adapt to new boundaries between truth and fabrication, nature and ecomies, and individual choice and larger systems of natural phemena. Anthropocene Fictions argues that new modes of inhabiting climate are of the utmost critical and political importance, when unprecedented scientific consensus has failed to lead to action.
Adam Trexler is an independent scholar living in Portland, Oregon, USA.
University of Virginia Press
Date of Publication
Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism