The Future in the Anthropocene: Extinction and the Imagination

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


This chapter investigates the effect of climate change (along with the host of other anthropogenic effects on the planet that now fall under the rubric of the Anthropocene) on the concept of extinction, particularly, human extinction. Whereas previous concepts of human extinction - from religious apocalyptic to Darwinian evolutionary discourses - were capable of imagining extinction as an event of grandeur and promise of something greater, extinction in the Anthropocene is figured as a moment of profound and abject loss, namely, the loss not just of humans but of particular configuration of capitalist comfort and consumerism. This chapter examines the history of this now dominant perception of extinction, via Enlightenment, Romantic and modernist thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClimate and Literature
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781108505321
ISBN (Print)9781108422529
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities

Cite this