The Anthropocene thesis makes it necessary for the social sciences to engage with temporality in novel ways. The Anthropocene highlights interconnections between ‘natural’ and ‘social’ non-linear temporal processes. However, accounts of humanity’s Anthropocene history often reproduce linear, progressive narratives of human development. This forecloses the possibilities that thinking with non-linear temporalities would offer to the political sciences. Engaging with the temporal complexity of the Anthropocene as a moment of rupture that highlights non-linearity allows to acknowledge more fully the affective impact of living on a disrupted planet. As a discourse about temporal rupture, the Anthropocene is a stocktaking of the already vast insecurities and losses brought about by exploitative relationships with earth and its inhabitants. In this form, the Anthropocene thesis highlights how material and social legacies of inequality and exploitation shape our present and delimit our imaginaries of the future. By including a reckoning of violent pasts into future practices, a productive politics of mourning could take shape.
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Kelz, R., & Knappe, H. (2021). Politics of Time and Mourning in the Anthropocene. Social Sciences, 10(10): 368. doi:10.3390/socsci10100368.
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