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While the mainstream discourses on global warming characterize it as an unprecedented catastrophe that unites the globe in a common challenge, Elizabeth DeLoughrey argues...

While the mainstream discourses on global warming characterize it as an unprecedented catastrophe that unites the globe in a common challenge, Elizabeth DeLoughrey argues that this apparently cosmopolitan position is in truth a provincial one limited to privileged circles in the Global North. In Allegories of the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2019), she instead elucidates how among post-colonial peoples of the Pacific and Caribbean, who are among the first to suffer the uncompromising rise of sea levels, global warming is not so much a rupture of stability as an impending cataclysm that follows a long history of others. With an eclectic array of allegorical artworks — including sculptures by Dominican artist Tony Capellán, novels by Keri Hulme and Erna Brodber, and poems from Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner and Kamau Brathwaite — DeLoughrey traces how island artists make sense of anthropogenic climate change while continuing to critique the legacies of militarism, capitalism, and imperialism. DeLoughrey also highlights subjectivities of relatedness with the earth and its non-human beings that may provide antidotes to the extractive logics that have clogged the skies with CO2. Stressing the ways that global warming and empire are mutually constitutive, DeLoughrey confirms the critical importance of allegorical art and literature from the Global South in interpreting our unfolding crisis.

Proceeds from the book are donated to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).


Lance C. Thurner teaches history at Rutgers Newark. His research and writing address the production of knowledge, political subjectivities, and racial and national identities in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Mexico. He is broadly interested in the methods and politics of applying a global perspective to the history of science and medicine and the role of the humanities in the age of the Anthropocene. More at http://empiresprogeny.org.