Timescales: Thinking across Ecological Temporalities (Paperback)
Humanists, scientists, and artists collaborate to address the disjunctive temporalities of ecological crisis
In 2016, Antarctica’s Totten Glacier, formed some 34 million years ago, detached from its bedrock, melted from the bottom by warming ocean waters. For the editors of Timescales, this event captures the disjunctive temporalities of our era’s—the Anthropocene’s—ecological crises: the rapid and accelerating degradation of our planet’s life-supporting environment established slowly over millennia. They contend that, to represent and respond to these crises (i.e., climate change, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, species extinction, and biodiversity loss) requires reframing time itself, making more visible the relationship between past, present, and future, and between a human life span and the planet’s.
Timescales’ collection of lively and thought-provoking essays puts oceanographers, geophysicists, geologists, and anthropologists into conversation with literary scholars, art historians, and archaeologists. Together forging new intellectual spaces, they explore the relationship between geological deep time and historical particularity, between ecological crises and cultural expression, between environmental policy and social constructions, between restoration ecology and future imaginaries, and between constructive pessimism and radical (and actionable) hope. Interspersed among these essays are three complementary “etudes,” in which artists describe experimental works that explore the various timescales of ecological crisis.
Contributors: Jason Bell, Harvard Law School; Iemanjá Brown, College of Wooster; Beatriz Cortez, California State U, Northridge; Wai Chee Dimock, Yale U; Jane E. Dmochowski, U of Pennsylvania; David A. D. Evans, Yale U; Kate Farquhar; Marcia Ferguson, U of Pennsylvania; Ömür Harmansah, U of Illinois at Chicago; Troy Herion; Mimi Lien; Mary Mattingly; Paul Mitchell, U of Pennsylvania; Frank Pavia, California Institute of Technology; Dan Rothenberg; Jennifer E. Telesca, Pratt Institute; Charles M. Tung, Seattle U.
About the Author
Bethany Wiggin is associate professor of German at the University of Pennsylvania and founding director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities.
Carolyn Fornoff is assistant professor of Latin American culture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Patricia Eunji Kim is assistant professor/faculty fellow at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University.