The realities of anthropogenic climate change, species extinction, and sea level rise compel a rethinking of humanity’s place in the world, and a reimagining of the dominant cultural and political forms that threaten life on our planet. Our situation is one in which many of the built environments — the food and energy systems, the infrastructures for production, transport, and dwelling — designed for human flourishing now imperil the lives of countless fellow creatures and the places they inhabit.
Multiple questions follow. What sort of being is the human being that now influences, if not determines, multiple life-system processes from cellular to atmospheric levels? How shall we evaluate and correct the economies and institutions that undermine the bases and flows of life? Do the academic disciplines that have shaped our thinking and commitments need to change if people are to live in hope? What can we learn from the past as we look toward the future?
This series brings together leading scholars from diverse disciplines (political economy, history, anthropology, theology, philosophy, environmental humanities, and law) to examine the conditions under which a hopeful future might be imagined. Key themes, concepts, and practices that have animated cultural production will be examined and evaluated so as to outline a better prospect for our future, shared life. Each week, Norman Wirzba will interview a leading scholar on how their work addresses the questions posed by the Anthropocene.
About the guest:
Alyssa Battistoni is a political theorist and an Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment. She is the co-author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, n+1, The Nation, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Jacobin, where she is a member of the editorial board.