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Apocalypse yesterday: Posthumanism and comics in the Anthropocene

Menga, F. & Davies, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-3584-5789 (2019). Apocalypse yesterday: Posthumanism and comics in the Anthropocene. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 3(3), pp. 663-687. doi: 10.1177/2514848619883468


It is widely recognised that the growing awareness that we are living in the Anthropocene – an unstable geological epoch in which humans and their actions are catalysing catastrophic environmental change – is troubling humanity’s understanding and perception of temporality and the ways in which we come to terms with socio-ecological change. This article begins by arguing in favour of posthumanism as an approach to this problem, one in which the prefix ‘post’ does not come as an apocalyptic warning, but rather signals a new way of thinking, an encouragement to move beyond a humanist perspective, and to abandon a social discourse and a worldview fundamentally centred on the human. The article then explores how the impending environmental catastrophe can be productively reimagined through graphic narratives, arguing that popular culture in general, and comics in particular, emerge as productive sites for geographers to interrogate and develop posthuman methodologies and narratives. Developing our analysis around two comics in particular – Here (McGuire, 2014) and Mad Max: Fury Road (Miller et al., 2015) – we show how graphic narrative can help us to move beyond the nature-society divide that is rendered anachronistic by the Anthropocene.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Anthropocene, posthumanism, assemblage theory, comics, temporality
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > English, Publishing & Creative Writing
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