How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human

Avoiding reductionistic solutions, and without losing sight of how our lives and those of others are caught up in the moral webs we humans spin, this book skillfully fashions new kinds of conceptual tools from the strange and unexpected properties of the living world itself. In this groundbreaking work, kohn takes anthropology in a new and exciting direction–one that offers a more capacious way to think about the world we share with other kinds of beings.

Whether or not we recognize it, our anthropological tools hinge on those capacities that make us distinctly human. Based on four years of fieldwork among the runa of ecuador’s Upper Amazon, Eduardo Kohn draws on his rich ethnography to explore how Amazonians interact with the many creatures that inhabit one of the world’s most complex ecosystems.

How forests Think seizes on this breakdown as an opportunity. However, when we turn our ethnographic attention to how we relate to other kinds of beings, these tools which have the effect of divorcing us from the rest of the world break down. Can forests think? do dogs dream? in this astonishing book, Eduardo Kohn challenges the very foundations of anthropology, calling into question our central assumptions about what it means to be human―and thus distinct from all other life forms.


The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world―and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made? A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism.

Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. Here, industrial forests, finnish nature guides, Hmong jungle fighters, capitalist traders, Yi Chinese goat herders, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, and more.

These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction. By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.


Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene Experimental Futures

The chthulucene, rather than auto-poiesis, Haraway explains, or making-with, requires sym-poiesis, or self-making. Combined Academic Publishers. Theoretically and methodologically driven by the signifier SF—string figures, science fiction, speculative fabulation, science fact, speculative feminism, so far—Staying with the Trouble further cements Haraway's reputation as one of the most daring and original thinkers of our time.

. In the midst of spiraling ecological devastation, multispecies feminist theorist Donna J. Learning to stay with the trouble of living and dying together on a damaged earth will prove more conducive to the kind of thinking that would provide the means to building more livable futures. Haraway offers provocative new ways to reconfigure our relations to the earth and all its inhabitants.

She eschews referring to our current epoch as the Anthropocene, preferring to conceptualize it as what she calls the Chthulucene, as it more aptly and fully describes our epoch as one in which the human and nonhuman are inextricably linked in tentacular practices.

Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene

Combined Academic Publishers. Le guin; marianne elisabeth lien, u of hawaii, santa cruz; Margaret McFall-Ngai, U of Oslo; Andrew Mathews, U of California, Manoa; Ingrid M. Gilbert, swarthmore College; Deborah M. Gordon, stanford U; Donna J. Parker, u of new south wales, u of wisconsin, sydney; dorion sagan; lesley stern, nyu; anne Pringle, U of California, Santa Cruz; Mary Louise Pratt, U of California, Madison; Deborah Bird Rose, San Diego; Jens-Christian Svenning, Aarhus U.

Haraway, u of california, santa Cruz; Andreas Hejnol, U of Bergen, Norway; Ursula K. Living on a damaged planet challenges who we are and where we live. The essays are organized around two key figures that also serve as the publication’s two openings: Ghosts, or landscapes haunted by the violences of modernity; and Monsters, or interspecies and intraspecies sociality.

This timely anthology calls on twenty eminent humanists and scientists to revitalize curiosity, observation, and transdisciplinary conversation about life on earth. As human-induced environmental change threatens multispecies livability, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet puts forward a bold proposal: entangled histories, situated narratives, and thick descriptions offer urgent “arts of living.

Included are essays by scholars in anthropology, ecology, science studies, literature, art, and bioinformatics who posit critical and creative tools for collaborative survival in a more-than-human Anthropocene. Ghosts and monsters are tentacular, border zones, windy, graves, mud volcanoes, and arboreal arts that invite readers to encounter ants, flying foxes, electrons, rocks, chestnut trees, salmon, lichen, radioactive waste—in short, the wonders and terrors of an unintended epoch.

Contributors: karen barad, u of maryland, santa cruz; peter funch, Santa Cruz; Kate Brown, U of California, U of California, Baltimore; Carla Freccero, Aarhus U; Scott F.

Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things a John Hope Franklin Center Book

Bennett concludes by sketching the contours of a “green materialist” ecophilosophy. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events.

Bennett examines the political and theoretical implications of vital materialism through extended discussions of commonplace things and physical phenomena including stem cells, fish oils, metal, electricity, and trash. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces.

Along the way, she engages with the concepts and claims of spinoza, adorno, nietzsche, Darwin, disclosing a long history of thinking about vibrant matter in Western philosophy, and Deleuze, including attempts by Kant, Thoreau, Bergson, and the embryologist Hans Driesch to name the “vital force” inherent in material forms.

. Combined Academic Publishers. Duke University Press. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. She reflects on the vital power of material formations such as landfills, which generate lively streams of chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can transform brain chemistry and mood.

Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime

It is still organized along an axis that goes from investment in local values to the hope of globalization and just at the time when, everywhere, people dissatisfied with the ideal of modernity are turning back to the protection of national or even ethnic borders. This is why it is urgent to shift sideways and to define politics as what leads toward the Earth and not toward the global or the national.

Hence their flight offshore and their massive investment in climate change denial. The left has been slow to turn its attention to this new situation. Belonging to a territory is the phenomenon most in need of rethinking and careful redescription; learning new ways to inhabit the Earth is our biggest challenge.

Duke University Press. Bringing us down to earth is the task of politics today. This could explain the deadly cocktail of exploding inequalities, massive deregulation, and conversion of the dream of globalization into a nightmare for most people. What holds these three phenomena together is the conviction, shared by some powerful people, that the ecological threat is real and that the only way for them to survive is to abandon any pretense at sharing a common future with the rest of the world.

The present ecological mutation has organized the whole political landscape for the last thirty years. Combined Academic Publishers.

Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory of Everything

This core idea has significance for nearly every field of inquiry which is concerned in some way with the systematic interaction of objects, and the degree to which individual objects resist full participation in such systems. We humans tend to believe that things are only real in as much as we perceive them, which privileges us as special, an idea reinforced by modern philosophy, radically different in kind from all other objects.

To think a reality beyond our thinking is not nonsense, but obligatory. At ooo's heart is the idea that objects—whether real, human, natural, fictional, artificial, or non-human—are mutually autonomous. Combined Academic Publishers. But as graham harman, one of the theory's leading exponents, he states, Object-Oriented Ontology OOO rejects the idea of human specialness: the world, shows, is clearly not the world as manifest to humans.

In this brilliant new introduction, taking in art and literature, and impact, ideas, Graham Harman lays out OOO's history, politics and natural science along the way. From sherlock holmes, and string theory, and videogames to Dadaism, Voltaire, unicorns, this book will change the way you understand everything.

. Duke University Press.

We Have Never Been Modern

Combined Academic Publishers. The ozone debate is such a hybrid, as are global warming, in Latour’s analysis, deforestation, even the idea of black holes. With the rise of science, we moderns believe, the world changed irrevocably, separating us forever from our primitive, premodern ancestors. But alongside this purifying practice that defines modernity, there exists another seemingly contrary one: the construction of systems that mix politics, science, technology, and nature.

But if we were to let go of this fond conviction, what would the world look like? His book, an anthropology of science, Bruno Latour asks, shows us how much of modernity is actually a matter of faith. What does it mean to be modern? what difference does the scientific method make? The difference, is in our careful distinctions between nature and society, distinctions that our benighted ancestors, astrology, Latour explains, in their world of alchemy, and phrenology, between human and thing, never made.

. Harvard University Press. Duke University Press. As these hybrids proliferate, the prospect of keeping nature and culture in their separate mental chambers becomes overwhelming―and rather than try, Latour suggests, we should rethink our distinctions, rethink the definition and constitution of modernity itself.

His book offers a new explanation of science that finally recognizes the connections between nature and culture―and so, between our culture and others, past and present. Nothing short of a reworking of our mental landscape, We Have Never Been Modern blurs the boundaries among science, the humanities, and the social sciences to enhance understanding on all sides.

Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

Harvard University Press. Using the innovative concept of "slow violence" to describe these threats, Rob Nixon focuses on the inattention we have paid to the attritional lethality of many environmental crises, in contrast with the sensational, spectacle-driven messaging that impels public activism today.

Combined Academic Publishers. Slow violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. The violence wrought by climate change, toxic drift, deforestation, oil spills, and the environmental aftermath of war takes place gradually and often invisibly. Slow violence, exacerbates the vulnerability of ecosystems and of people who are poor, because it is so readily ignored by a hard-charging capitalism, and often involuntarily displaced, disempowered, while fueling social conflicts that arise from desperation as life-sustaining conditions erode.

In a book of extraordinary scope, Nixon examines a cluster of writer-activists affiliated with the environmentalism of the poor in the global South. Duke University Press. By approaching environmental justice literature from this transnational perspective, he exposes the limitations of the national and local frames that dominate environmental writing.

And by skillfully illuminating the strategies these writer-activists deploy to give dramatic visibility to environmental emergencies, Nixon invites his readers to engage with some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None Forerunners: Ideas First

This is gray literature publishing: where intense thinking, change, and speculation take place in scholarship. Written between fresh ideas and finished books, conference plenaries, social media, journal articles, Forerunners draws on scholarly work initiated in notable blogs, and the synergy of academic exchange.

Combined Academic Publishers. Slow violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Harvard University Press. Duke University Press. Rewriting the “origin stories” of the Anthropocene No geology is neutral, writes Kathryn Yusoff. Forerunners is a thought-in-process series of breakthrough digital works. Yusoff initiates a transdisciplinary conversation between feminist black theory, materiality, and the earth sciences, geography, deep time, addressing the politics of the Anthropocene within the context of race, and the afterlives of geology.

Tracing the color line of the anthropocene, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None examines how the grammar of geology is foundational to establishing the extractive economies of subjective life and the earth under colonialism and slavery.

Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism

Finding foucauldian biopolitics unable to adequately reveal contemporary mechanisms of power and governance, which operates through the regulation of the distinction between Life and Nonlife and the figures of the Desert, Povinelli describes a mode of power she calls geontopower, the Animist, and the Virus.

Duke University Press. Slow violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Geontologies examines this formation of power from the perspective of Indigenous Australian maneuvers against the settler state. Duke University Press. In geontologies Elizabeth A. And it probes how our contemporary critical languages—anthropogenic climate change, new materialism, plasticity, antinormativity—often unwittingly transform their struggles against geontopower into a deeper entwinement within it.

Combined Academic Publishers. A woman who became a river, a snakelike entity who spawns the fog, plesiosaurus fossils and vast networks of rock weirs: in asking how these different forms of existence refuse incorporation into the vocabularies of Western theory Povinelli provides a revelatory new way to understand a form of power long self-evident in certain regimes of settler late liberalism but now becoming visible much further beyond.

. Harvard University Press. Povinelli continues her project of mapping the current conditions of late liberalism by offering a bold retheorization of power.