We Have Always Been Post-Anthropocene, Claire Colebrook


The proposed conception of the Anthropocene epoch marks is radical a shift in species awareness as Darwinian evolution was for the nineteenth-century. If the notion of the human species’ emergence in time requires new forms of narrative, imaginative and ethical articulation, then the intensifying sense of the species’ end makes a similar claim for rethinking ‘our’ processes of self-presentation and self-preservation.
One of the dominant motifs of the anthropocene is climate change, which (as Bruno Latour has argued) closes down the modern conception of the infinite universe, drawing us back once again to the parochial, limited and exhausted earth. It might be worth redefining all those hyper-modern proclamations of a post-human and post-racial future as hypo-modern, as refusals of the species’ bounded temporality. Nowhere is this more evident than in the seemingly modern fascination with sexual difference. It is the possibility of transcending sexual difference — of arriving at indifference — that has always been harbored as the human species’ end.

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