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Rethinking alliances in the Age of Man

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What is posthumanism?

The “posthuman turn” in critical theory has been a response to the anthropocentric bias of the Western intellectual tradition and its corresponding organization and conceptualization of human life as unique and superior to other forms of life and matter. Posthumanist thought rejects this anthropocentrism and its humanist conceptions of human agency and rationality, emphasizing instead the worldmaking capacities of bodily experiences and nonhuman forces that have long remained unacknowledged.

As Robert Cowley explains, posthumanist thought and its critical orientation toward modernist distinctions (e.g. human/nonhuman, nature/culture, mind/matter, subject/object, etc.) is in many ways driven by an optimistic timeliness. Posthumanism draws on…


How the Anthropocene legitimizes the expansion of private property relations

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In 2000, atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and ecologist Eugene Stoermer proposed the term Anthropocene as a more accurate name for our current geological epoch. With it, they argued that the Earth’s geological and atmospheric conditions had begun to bear the mark of human civilization to the point that a new name was needed to describe our current moment in Earth history, one that identified more accurately our current geological period’s main protagonists: human beings.

Generally, supporters of the term argue that humanity has developed into a geological force capable of affecting not only certain environments and ecosystems but planetary existence…


Let’s talk about the commons

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These reflections about private property began one morning when I stepped into a near empty Toronto TTC subway car. The car was occupied by only two people: a hooded young man (in his teens, by the look of it) sleeping on a row of seats curled up in a fetal position and a middle aged woman scowling at him from her seat across the room.

Intrigued by the scene, I spent the entire subway ride speculating about the story behind the woman’s seemingly hostile attitude toward the sleeping young man. What reasons could the woman…


The case of microfarming and Open School programs

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As our world tries to adapt to shifting social, political, and environmental pressures, our relations to private and public spaces, too, demand scrutiny and reimagining. After all, it is precisely in these spaces that many of the tensions that characterize our current era unfold.

The following reflections about our relation to public and private spaces is inspired by works that reject the utilitarian, exclusionary, and functionality-centric principles that inform access to and interactions within them. …


Mission statement and submission guidelines

Nowadays, stories about human-driven destruction and impending doomsday scenarios overwhelm our newsfeeds and our social and political imagination. CountarApocalypse provides a space for thinking and learning about worlds and ways of life beyond these apocalyptic parameters, showing our readers that alternative and thriving worlds (old and new) are not only possible but already among us.

Think about climate change, for instance. Discussions about climate change often feature apocalyptic concerns and predictions about rising sea levels, wildfires, droughts, melting icecaps, ocean acidification, deforestation, pollution, the loss of biodiversity, etc.

These narratives are not new but have developed over the course of…


Rethinking International Law and the Rights of Nature

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The term ‘ecocide’ is now one step closer to being added to the list of crimes prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). On Tuesday, June 22, an international team of lawyers unveiled a historic draft law and definition of the offense, urging the ICC to prosecute mass environmental destruction similarly to war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and crimes of aggression. If accepted, ecocide will become the fifth offense on the ICC’s list of international crimes, signaling the beginning of a new wave of global environmental protections.

The draft is part…


One less pipeline to worry about and many reasons to celebrate

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June 9, 2021 was a good day. On this day, TC Energy confirmed the termination of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

As an environmentally conscious Albertan, this is a story that I have been following very closely for some time now. So, naturally, I thought to write a piece about the pipeline project, going into some detail about the decade-long struggle to have the project terminated. I even thought to write about Obama, Trump, and Biden, about Alberta and the long list of failures of Alberta’s Premier, Jason Kenney.

But this would not even begin to capture what I’m feeling at…


The ugly truth about Singapore’s green utopianism

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Singapore continues to successfully market itself as the future of eco-friendly urban life and as a pioneer in smart and sustainable cities, technologies, and infrastructure. The Tengah project is one of the latest additions to Singapore’s internationally lauded green urbanization efforts, one that is particularly interesting from a green branding perspective as it symbolically positions the island nation not only against environmental harm but also against other forms of violent and destructive human activities (e.g., …

MCQ

Public scholar and educator. Environmental politics, human-nature relations, and the history of social & political thought. Find me on Twitter @mcqposts

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