Anthropocene Anthropology: Reconceptualizing Contemporary Global Change
The Anthropocene is the scientific label given by earth scientists to the current epoch of unprecedented anthropogenic planetary change. The Anthropocene is also a political label designed to call attention to this change and evolving notions of agency and responsibility in contemporary life. This article critically explores what I call ‘the Anthropocene idea’ and the condition of ‘Anthropocene spaces’ through selected anthropological writing about recent planetary change and through analysis of current events in a specific ‘vulnerable’ location. By considering recent events in The Bahamas, I arrive at an orientation that I call simply Anthropocene anthropology. Rather than advocating for the creation of a new subfield of research, this mode of engagement offers an open-ended conceptual framework for the critical examination of the Anthropocene idea as it influences the symbolic and material realities of contemporary Anthropocene spaces.