[spectre] Anthropocene Back Loop by Stephanie Wakefield – available open access

Gary Hall mail at garyhall.info
Mon May 18 14:52:07 CEST 2020

We are delighted to announce the latest title in the Critical Climate 
Chaos, Irreversibility series: Stephanie Wakefield's very timely 
/Anthropocene Back Loop: Experimentation in Unsafe Operating Space./

Like all Open Humanities Press books, /Anthropocene Back Loop/ is 
available for free:


In the face of climate chaos, post-truth politics, and growing 
tribalisms, it’s clear that liberalism’s old structures are unraveling. 
Drawing on resilience ecology, Stephanie Wakefield suggests we 
understand such phenomena to be indicators that we are entering the 
Anthropocene’s back loop, a time of release and collapse, confusion and 
reorientation, in which not only populations and climates are being 
upended but also physical and metaphysical grounds. /Anthropocene Back 
Loop/ takes us on a journey though different responses and 
manifestations of the back loop, exploring urban resilience 
infrastructures, post-apocalyptic imaginaries in fiction and critical 
theory, and a range of everyday practices from survival skills and 
physical fitness to experimentation with one’s soul. Rather than 
returning to liberalism’s safe operating space, what is needed and what 
can be seen in many contemporary practices, Wakefield argues, are forms 
of experimentation geared toward charting autonomous modes of living 
within the back loop’s new unsafe operating spaces. Such efforts often 
let go of old frameworks, hubristically experiment with new uses, 
cultivate an allowance for the unknown, and embrace a confidence in 
exploring one’s own pathways. What these iterations suggest is that the 
back loop, long imagined in the singular, is spiraling out into myriad 
trajectories. After all, if we take seriously the idea that liberalism’s 
single world order is unraveling, we have the opportunity - one many 
have long fought for - to create our own new codes, if not new worlds. 
Being in the back loop means that we have already crossed various 
tipping points, and that in doing so, everything from social practices, 
technologies, and truth to plants, animals, and places have become 
shaken out of their normal frameworks. We are free to move on new planes.

‘Announcing the apocalypse is easy. But doing something constructive 
with planetary catastrophe is rare and precious. Stephanie Wakefield’s 
repurposing of the ecological 'back loop’ for the badlands of the 
Anthropocene will not only fire your imagination, it will wind you up 
and send you out to slash, burn, pump, hammer, rivet and rewire a 
liveable world into existence.

/- Nigel Clark/ – Chair of Social Sustainability, Lancaster University

Are we just survivors? Is our fate to endlessly – and aimlessly — govern 
the climate crisis? In this unexpected and inspiring book, Stephanie 
Wakefield reclaims the Anthropocene ‘back loop’ as a time for 
experimentation rather than fear, a time to probe possibilities rather 
than desperately cling to a ‘safe operating space’ that is safe only for 
a few. Anthropocene Back Loop returns to a key insight: Being is a 
question, not a blueprint. What other modes of life can we invent?

/- Bruce Braun/ – Professor, University of Minnesota

Author Bio

Stephanie Wakefield is an urban geographer and teacher. She is currently 
an Urban Studies Foundation International Postdoctoral Research Fellow 
based at Florida International University in the Department of Global 
and Sociocultural Studies and Institute of Environment. She writes 
frequently for popular, art, and academic journals.

Best, Gary, David and Sigi

Gary Hall
Professor of Media
Director of the Centre for Postdigital Cultures, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Coventry University:

Director of Open Humanities Press: http://www.openhumanitiespress.org
Website http://www.garyhall.info

‘How to Be An Anti-Bourgeois Theorist: Postdigital Politics in a Time of Pandemics IV’: http://garyhall.squarespace.com/journal/2020/5/12/how-to-be-an-anti-bourgeois-theorist-postdigital-politics-in.html

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