Supra-Human Agency, Thomas Puleo


Non-human agency includes not only capacities that emanate from non-human phenomena such as geographic plates and processes such as plate tectonics, but also from what I argue are supra-human phenomena and processes such as climate change and war, events that while anthropogenic in origin, move beyond the scope and scale of human intentionality and activity, to acquire their own force and power. Such a notion creates a category of agency that both bestrides and blurs the human/non-human distinction to enrich and problematize understandings of each. To make my argument, I draw on the work of Michel Serres, particularly his concept of serial parasitism; geographic discourses on risk, hazard and catastrophe; and events such as the 1693 earthquake of Val di Noto, Sicily, the 2010 Haitian quake, the Iraq War of 2003-2011, and the ongoing phenomenon and process of global climate change.

%d bloggers like this: