History 4° Celsius: Search for a Method in the Age of the Anthropocene
Ian Baucom is Dean of Arts and Sciences and Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Specters of the Atlantic: Finance Capital, Slavery, and the Philosophy of History and coeditor of Shades of Black: Assembling Black Arts in 1980s Britain, both also published by Duke University Press.
In History 4° Celsius Ian Baucom continues his inquiries into the place of the Black Atlantic in the making of the modern and postmodern world. Putting black studies into conversation with climate change, Baucom outlines how the ongoing concerns of critical race, diaspora, and postcolonial studies are crucial to understanding the Anthropocene. He draws on materialist and postmaterialist thought, Sartre, and the science of climate change to trace the ways in which evolving political, cultural, and natural history converge to shape a globally destructive force. Identifying the quest for limitless financial gain as the primary driving force behind both the slave trade and the continuing increase in global greenhouse gas emissions, Baucom demonstrates that climate change and the conditions of the Black Atlantic, colonialism, and the postcolony are fundamentally entwined. In so doing, he argues for the necessity of establishing a method of critical exchange between climate science, black studies, and the surrounding theoretical inquiries of humanism and posthumanism.
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