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  • Anthropocene World / Anthropocene Waters: A Historical Examination of Ideas and Agency

    Philip V. Scarpino

    Chapter from the book: Kelly, J et al. 2017. Rivers of the Anthropocene.


    Philip Scarpino’s essay is a history of the concept of the Anthropocene—specifically from the perspective of an environmental historian. In tracing the long history of the idea, he weaves it together with the history of environmentalism in the twentieth century, arguing that it was the culmination of a series of ideas that developed over decades. He continues by making the point that scholars need to be careful when using the concept of the Anthropocene as a heuristic tool. Culture, he argues, is historically contingent and manifests itself in different ways in different contexts. As such, any study of entangled natural systems and human systems, must take into account variable local conditions and not assume culture as a “single, undifferentiated variable.”

    How to cite this chapter
    Scarpino, P. 2017. Anthropocene World / Anthropocene Waters: A Historical Examination of Ideas and Agency. In: Kelly, J et al (eds.), Rivers of the Anthropocene. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.43.h

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    Additional Information

    Published on Nov. 17, 2017