Anthropocene and Environmental Crisis

Historically, the task of preparing for crises (or learning how to adequately contend with contingencies and calamities) has been conceived through the broader challenge of human Askesis (disciplined practice as self formation), and mostly through the terms of life and death. The late Anthropocene, as our present (Now-Time or Jetztzeit) is genuinely unique and different from the past in that, as a self-conscious collective, human beings face the task of preparing for the destruction of “nature,” and the downfall of civilization, as we know it. As such, our research explores the possibilities inherent in human ingenuity and innovation. However, given that scientific evidence supports the likelihood and even the inevitability of environmental catastrophes and civilization collapse, we are also concerned with what it means to prepare for the end or to live through it. With a view to the legacies of colonization and the pervasiveness of neo-colonialism/neo-imperialism, our research is informed by the awareness that the unjust distribution of benefits and burdens in the evolution of civilization, necessarily compel a fundamental questioning on the predictability of the human tragedy. Resident scholars in a variety of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences contribute to research in this area, including theoretical/philosophical explorations as well as production of work having direct implications for policy formulation.