Navigating (post-)anthropocenic times of crisis: a critical cartography of hope

Evelien Geerts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Departing from the (post-)Anthropocenic crisis state of today’s world, fuelled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, various post-truth populist follies, and an apocalyptic WW3-scenario that has been hanging in the air since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, this article argues for the possibility – and necessity – of an affirmative posthumanist-materialist mapping of hope. Embedded in the Deleuzoguattarian-Braidottian (see Deleuze and Guattari 2005 [1980]; Braidotti 2011 [1994]) methodology of critical cartography, and infused with critical posthumanist, new materialist, and queer theoretical perspectives, this cartography of hope is sketched out against two permacrisis-infused positionalities: nostalgic humanism and tragic (post)humanism. Forced to navigate between these two extremes, the critical cartography of hope presented here explores hope in numerous historico-philosophical (re)configurations: from the premodern “hope-as-all-too-human”, to a more politicised early modern “hope-as-(politically-)human” – representing hope’s first paradigm shift (politicisation), and from a four decades-long neoliberal redrawing of hope as “no-more-hope” – hope’s second shift (depoliticisation) – to a critical (new) materialist plea to de-anthropocentrise and re-politicise hope – hope’s third and final post-Anthropocenic shift (re-politicisation). By mapping these (re)configurations of hope, a philosophical plea is made for hope as a material(ist) praxis that can help us better understand – and counter – these extractive late capitalist, neoliberal more-than-human crisis times.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-412
Number of pages30
JournalCounterText
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Critical cartography
  • Critical (new) materialisms
  • Critical posthumanist theory
  • Crisis times
  • Hope
  • Nostalgic humanism
  • (Post-)Anthropocene
  • Tragic (post)humanism

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