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The Best of End Times: Edge Effects in conversation with Anna Tsing

By Charlie Carlin
Edge Effects

Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet (Tsing et al)The Anthropocene—the name given to the understanding that humans are altering our planet on a geologic scale—holds many meanings. For some, it is a call to actively and consciously manage and manipulate Earth. Others see it as proof we must defend the planet from humans as much as possible. Anthropologist Anna Tsing, meanwhile, has gone on a hunt for “arts of living” in this complex and unstable world.

Tsing edited the volume Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene(University of Minnesota Press, 2017) with Heather SwansonElaine Gan, and Nils Bubandt. When considering what will emerge from the ecological devastation unfolding around the world, they are far from optimistic. But they’re not elegiac. Instead, they curate a journey through ways of knowing our world that includes biologists working on the microbial scale, poets grappling with questions of meaning, and historians tracing the living legacy of nuclear energy gone wrong. Each essay offers a way of describing and understanding the “entanglement” that defines life on earth.

Stream or download the interview.