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Dipesh Chakrabarty’s 2009 essay in Critical Inquiry, “The Climate of History: Four Theses” sent tremors through the environmentally aware humanities in the 2010s. Last year, he published the book that brought that essay forward into the present, The Climate of History in a Planetary Age. It’s no overstatement to think of this book as having clanged the bell for a new normal in the humanities and social sciences when it comes to telling the story of ourselves, that is, when it comes to human history. Responsible history should today be geological even when recounting the human record. Chakrabarty raised a series of open-ended, difficult questions about a range of core concerns in the humanities and social sciences from how we can understand ourselves and society to how we ought to think about political economy and morality. How should these concerns be reconsidered – and their study reorganized – given the rupture of the Earth system sciences – and more generally the “planetary” – into their domains?
© Environmental Philosophy
Bendik-Keymer, Jeremy, "A Planetary Imagination: Responses to Chakrabarty’s Socio-Natural Historiography, Editorial Introduction" (2022). Faculty Scholarship. 95.