Faculty Publications

Title

Geographic Thought and the Anthropocene: What Geographers Have Said and Have to Say

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Anthropocene, consilience, geographic thought, human–environment, synthesis

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of the American Association of Geographers

Volume

111

Issue

3

First Page

729

Last Page

741

Abstract

Drawing from early modern and contemporary geographic thought, this article explores how the premise of an Anthropocene (Age of Humans) can be used to reinforce enduring modes of human–environment thinking. Anthropocene dialogues build on insights posed by geographers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: unity of nature, humans as nature made conscious, humans as nature’s conscience, and time periods as devices for thinking about human–environment relations. Complementing these ideas, contemporary geographers are making compelling statements about the Anthropocene, affirming that interpretations of the proposed geologic time period differ according to socioenvironmental variables, geographic imaginations, local contexts, and critical perspectives. Three forms of human–environment thinking emerge from examining links between early modern geographers and current geographers addressing the Anthropocene: synthesis thinking, epistemological thinking, and ethical thinking. Connections across ideas concerning the Anthropocene and geographic thought will be strengthened by developing systematic chronologies of the human–environment relationship.

Department

Department of Geography

Original Publication Date

1-1-2020

DOI of published version

10.1080/24694452.2020.1796575

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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