Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times
University of Minnesota Press 2016
New Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in Environmental StudiesNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books in Science, Technology, and SocietyNew Books Network February 21, 2017 Katie McKeown
Stacy Alaimo’s Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) is a provocative reflection on environmental ethics, politics, and forms of knowledge. Through a range of examples as broad as the theoretical scope of the book, Alaimo analyzes political responses to climate change, ocean acidification, deforestation, and plastic pollution, as well as the epistemologies that have shaped our understanding of these crises. Simultaneously, this series of essays also explores the intimacies and entanglements of human and non-human subjectivities in the Anthropocene, arguing for a new materialist engagement with the world. Despite the gravity of her subject matter, Alaimo’s examples and writing are often playful. This not only echoes the complexity and occasional contradictions of environmental politics but also makes Exposed a very enjoyable read.
Drawing on examples from film, fiction, poetry, scientific writing, art, and activism, Alaimo considers the role pleasure has played and could play in various environmentalisms and environmental engagements. Though it bridges and contributes to scholarly work in the fields of environmental studies, feminism, materialism, and posthumanism, this book is much more than a theoretical exploration; it calls on us to rethink what it means to be human and act accordingly. Alaimo demonstrates interconnections between queer animals, naked protesters, melting glaciers, and interested scholars while providing thoughtful guidance on how to understand and respond to the environmental predicaments to which we are all, to varying degrees, exposed.