This article traces the implications of thinking about the Anthropocene from the perspective of the archives that make it visible, placing ice-core data and scientific research on historical climate alongside ideas of the archive in historiography and the humanities. Drawing on Walter Benjamin’s notion of the “aura” of a work of art or cultural artifact, it offers an atmospheric conception of history attending to the ways in which humans, nonhumans, artifacts, and nature interpenetrate one another. Furthermore, it points to the ways in which the language of archives, curators, and libraries is shared between the sciences and humanities in the interests of opening new forms of interdisciplinary inquiry in the shared project of coming to terms with anthropogenic climate change and a geologic age defined by human action.
Jesse Oak Taylor; Auras and Ice Cores: Atmospheric Archives and the Anthropocene. the minnesota review 1 November 2014; 2014 (83): 73–82. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00265667-2782255
Download citation file: