Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Friday, November 2, 2012

Underground Ecocriticism Liveblog 12

Susie O’Brien. “The Downside of Up; Or, What's the Matter with Resilience.”
Things that get in the way of pure critique. We need "ecological humanities" not "ecocriticism." 
Highlights the embeddedness of the critic in a particular material context. 
Exclusion of others qualified by ecology. While there is a determining role of the human--the habitat we are working in and trying to escape. 
There is a moral component to working in the ecological humanities. 
Resilience as a major ecological value. A sign of fitness or even of moral worthiness. 
Turbulence <> creativity. 
The Upside of Down (Thomas Homer Dixon). Neoliberalism. Creative destruction. 
Melinda Cooper, Jeremy Walker's critique of that. 
Hayek's challenge to welfare state. 
Keynes causes crises by stifling market's natural volatility. 
Resilience model. 
Or focus on contractions at heart of systems: How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millett. T, a day trader turned real estate developer. Amazing financial success. Then he is struck by pity when he kills an animal. Other incidents follow. Overwhelmed more and more. 
Individual lifeforms and endangered animals in general. 
"Grievability" (Judith Butler): difficult to do it for a species, introduces generic problems. 
"palliative time"
The Already Dead by Eric Cazdyn. Palliative medicine. Acceptance of turbulence as the norm still marginalizes palliation, because palliation accepts death. Maintaining the chronically ill while being unable to countenance death. 
A social and economic life defined by permanent crisis. 
Palliative time << can open new ways of investing in the present, neither salvation nor sustainability
Acknowledgment of death upends the logic of managerialism
Also reactivates the utopian desire for cure. 
Empathy. We are dying as we speak. Not buoyancy of transformation. Possibility of imagining systems and thinking across scales. Ecological humanities can do that. 

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