CFP: Thinking the Anthropocene through Race, SF, 2016

Posted by on Oct 16, 2015
CFP: Thinking the Anthropocene through Race, SF, 2016

Call for Papers: Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, March 29th to April 2nd, 2016.  

Thinking the Anthropocene through Race


Bruce Erickson, University of Manitoba

Andrew Baldwin, Durham University 

 A recent survey by Lewis and Maslin (2015) of the literature on the definition of the Anthropocene has brought urgency to the question of race within the boom of interest in the Anthropocene as both a cultural and geological term.  The survey suggests that the most promising date for the beginning of the Anthropocene is 1610, which marks the entrance of the “World-System” into human history through the geological marker of a dip in Atmospheric CO2 caused by the dramatic and devastating loss of human populations in the Americas, where over 50 million people are estimated to have died from disease, war and starvation arising from European contact and colonization.    

 This panel attempts to deal with this urgency, recognizing that the attention paid to the place of race in the Anthropocene, while gaining momentum, has left much to be desired.  Specifically, this panel is interested in casting this temporal phrase into question by asking: What histories are remembered and addressed by this naming?  Whose epoch is this? How is the future mobilized in the demands of the Anthropocene discourse? Addressing these questions can help understand the politics of the Anthropocene by focusing on the social sphere that spawned the geological epoch.  This panel attempts to start this examination by focusing on the racial dynamics present within the Anthropocene, the great acceleration(s) that has led to it, and the representation of these histories and futures.

 Possible topics include:

Whiteness and history in the Anthropocene

Political ecologies of race and climate

Race and Biopolitics

Race, Humanism and the Anthropocene

Future geographies of nature

Liberalism, Environments and Race

Resistance to the Anthropocene

Race, agency and the Anthropocene

Environmental justice and popular environmentalism

Colonization, decolonization and environmental politics.

Capitalism, race and global histories


Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to Bruce Erickson ( and Andrew Baldwin ( by October 22nd.  Selected abstracts will be notified by Oct 25th and will be expected to register for the AAG by October 28th


Lewis, S. L., & Maslin, M. A. (2015). Defining the Anthropocene. Nature, 519(7542), 171-180.