• Facing the Planetary: Entangled Humanism and the Politics of Swarming

    Pages: 240
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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  • Prelude: Myth and the Planetary  1
    1. Sociocentrism, the Anthropocene, and the Planetary  15
    2. Species Evolution and Cultural Creativity  37
    3. Creativity and the Scars of Being  63
    4. Distributed Agencies and Bumpy Temporalities  89
    5. The Politics of Swarming and the General Strike  121
    6. Postcolonial Ecologies, Extinction Events, and Entangled Humanism  151
    Postlude: Capitalism and the Planetary  175
    Acknowledgments  199
    Notes  201
    Bibliography  217
    Index  225
  • "... theorists will find plenty to unpack here. Recommended. Graduate students through faculty."


  • "... theorists will find plenty to unpack here. Recommended. Graduate students through faculty."

  • "A most important work, both for its timeliness and for its breadth—for the breadth of its sources, ranging from the Book of Job, through modern philosophy, to the latest climate science; for the breadth of the planetary forces taken into consideration, too numerous to mention; for the breadth of the obstacles it identifies to adequately addressing the Anthropocene, including sociocentrism, human exceptionalism, geogradualism, religious and secular dominionism, and the 'two cultures' separation between the humanities and earth sciences." — Eugene W. Holland, author of, Nomad Citizenship: Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike

    "The theory that emerges from Facing the Planetary accepts the force of the human impact on contemporary geological, biological, and meteorological forms and forces while insisting that the world also periodically wreaks havoc for its own reasons and cannot therefore be made subject to human (in)action. The range of William E. Connolly's encounter with past and present political theory and contemporary evolutionary, ecological, and climatic science is impressive and reflects the intellectual powers of one of our major American political theorists." — Elizabeth A. Povinelli, author of, Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism

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  • Description

    In Facing the Planetary William E. Connolly expands his influential work on the politics of pluralization, capitalism, fragility, and secularism to address the complexities of climate change and to complicate notions of the Anthropocene. Focusing on planetary processes—including the ocean conveyor, glacier flows, tectonic plates, and species evolution—he combines a critical understanding of capitalism with an appreciation of how such nonhuman systems periodically change on their own. Drawing upon scientists and intellectuals such as Lynn Margulis, Michael Benton, Alfred North Whitehead, Anna Tsing, Mahatma Gandhi, Wangari Maathai, Pope Francis, Bruno Latour, and Naomi Klein, Connolly focuses on the gap between those regions creating the most climate change and those suffering most from it. He addresses the creative potential of a "politics of swarming" by which people in different regions and social positions coalesce to reshape dominant priorities. He also explores how those displaying spiritual affinities across differences in creed can energize a militant assemblage that is already underway.

    About The Author(s)

    William E. Connolly is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches political theory. He is a former editor of Political Theory and one of the cofounders of Theory & Event. His recent books include The Fragility of ThingsA World of BecomingCapitalism and Christianity, American Style; and Pluralism, all also published by Duke University Press.
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