Claire Colebrook

Anthropocene Objects

With: Claire Colebrook, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Philosophy, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University, PE, USA.

Perhaps one of the most common criticisms of the West, or the Anthropos of the Anthropocene, concerns the status of things and objects. If Indigenous and ancient cultures could treat trees, rivers, and other non-humans as persons, the West increasingly disenchanted the earth, allowing for the reduction of what is other than the human subject. 

One might create a contrast between a detached and autonomous subject for whom the world is an occupied place or environment (even if the environment becomes increasingly important for us), and an existence that is best thought of as 'poor in world.' Here one exists and negotiates one's milieu without a profound sense of one's subjectivity.  

The criticism of disenchantment and objectification has a history and force beyond recent Anthropocene studies, including European Romanticism and feminist philosophy.  What one might retain from all these criticisms of objectification is that the reduction of the world to mere matter, calculable substance or a domain of inert things not only impoverishes the existence of the self or subject, it also creates the current crisis generally known as the end of the world.  Is it possible that one might not orient oneself towards one's milieu as if it were nothing more than an object or means?  Is it possible to treat what is not human with some degree of personhood?
The event and the Centre for Climate Emergency Studies is funded by the Council for Education and Learning and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Linnaeus University.


Claire Colebrook is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Philosophy, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University, PE, USA. She has written extensively, amongst other things, on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, the implications of Deleuzian and DeleuzoGuattarian philosophy especially on gender studies and feminist theory, and, more recently, on the climate crisis. She is the author of numerous monographs, articles and book chapters and she is the co-editor, with Tom Cohen, of two series of Open Humanities publications with the titles Critical Climate Change and Critical Climate Chaos: Irreversibility.

Claire Colebrook will join via Zoom. Participate in the seminar by joining us in Newton, C-building, Linnaues University, Växjö campus, or by Zoom, contact Ola Ståhl for details

Seminar room: Newton (Building C) Zoom room: please contact Ola Ståhl to participate ( Ola Ståhl Add to your calendar