The Anthropocene is a term geologists have begun using to refer to a new geological epoch, in which the action of humans has had such a dramatic effect upon the Earth’s climate, land, oceans and biosphere that humanity itself must now be considered a geological force in its own right1. Whilst there is some disagreement over when precisely the Anthropocene began, scientists generally date it to the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, mainly because of the newly-invented steam engine and the enormous expansion in the use of fossil fuels. The evidence adduced for the ‘Anthropocene’ is a series of stratigraphic signals – that is, lithological, geochemical and palaeobiological traces that are measured and interpreted by geologists in the present, or which will be read by imagined geologists in the future2.More
Daniel Hartley is Lecturer in English and American Literature and Culture at the University of Giessen (Germany). His book The Politics of Style: Marxist Poetics in and beyond Raymond Williams, Terry Eagleton and Fredric Jameson will be published by Brill in 2016. He is on the the “Comité scientifique” of the French online journal of Marxist theory, Revue Période. Together with Terry Craven, he is in the process of founding a small, independent publishing house: Breach Press.