The Anthropocene is a concept which challenges the foundations of humanities scholarship as it is traditionally understood. It calls not only for closer engagement with the natural sciences but also for a synthetic approach bringing together insights from the various subdisciplines in the humanities and social sciences which have addressed themselves to ecological questions in the past. This book is an introduction to, and structured survey of, the attempts that have been made to take the measure of the Anthropocene, and explores some of the paradigmatic problems which it raises.

The difficulties of an introduction to the Anthropocene lie not only in the disciplinary breadth of the subject, but also in the rapid pace at which the surrounding debates have been, and still are, unfolding. This introduction proposes a conceptual map which, however provisionally, charts these ongoing discussions across a variety of scientific and humanistic disciplines.

This book will be essential reading for students and researchers in the environmental humanities, particularly in literary and cultural studies, history, philosophy, and environmental studies.

chapter 1|16 pages


part I|2 pages


chapter 2|16 pages


chapter 3|14 pages


part II|2 pages


chapter 4|16 pages

Nature and culture

chapter 5|17 pages

The anthropos

chapter 6|12 pages


chapter 7|17 pages


part III|2 pages

Fault lines

chapter 8|13 pages


chapter 9|13 pages


chapter 10|16 pages

Scales I

The planetary

chapter 11|13 pages

Scales II

Deep time

chapter 12|7 pages


How Western is the Anthropocene?