The Anthropocene, as a diverse set of environmental happenings under the long arc of settler colonialism, slavery and racial capitalism, is delivering a lesson in geologic realism about the conjoined natality of ecocide and racialised violence. Such reckonings with historical life of geology — as an inventory and subjugation of matter — arrive in the present in forms of inundation that threaten, remake and rift the taken for granted ground. In this broken ground, the inhuman dimensions of Modernity’s horizons are engaged to reveal a foundational of racialisation of matter. The grammar of these inhuman geologies occupy a rift/riff zone; a zone where the political terra of land as property and bodies as commodities are opened up by libidinal and littoral economies. With a concern for fashioning alternative worlds and counter-modes of anti-racist fossilisation in the Anthropocene, this list is a site to engage time travel.
– Kathryn Yusoff, 2020
NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey, and data courtesy of Josh Willis/NASA JPL and the Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) Program.
Natalie Diaz, Postcolonial Love Poem (Graywolf Press, 2020)
Dionne Brand, ‘Inventory’, The Blue Clerk: Ars Poetice in 59 Versos (Duke University Press, 2018)
Sylvia Wynter, Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis, ed. Katherine McKittrick (Duke University Press, 2014)
Édouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation (The University of Michigan Press, 1997)
Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days (2001)
Leanne Betasamosoke Simpson, As We Have Always Done (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)
Joshua Bennett, The Sobbing School (Penguin Random House, 2016)
N. K. Jemisin, The Broken Earth Trilogy: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky (Orbit, 2018)
Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)
Elizabeth Grosz, Becoming Undone: Darwinian Reflections on Life, Politics, and Art (Duke University Press, 2011)
Elizabeth Povinelli, Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism (Duke University Press, 2011)
Denise Ferreira da Silva, ‘1 (life) ÷ 0 (blackness) = ∞ − ∞ or ∞ / ∞: On Matter Beyond the Equation of Value’, e-flux, February 2017
Kathryn Yusoff is Professor of Inhuman Geography in the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London. Her research engages geophilosophy, earth sciences, black feminist theory, and political aesthetics in the Anthropocene. Recent publications include, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), a Special Issue on “Geosocial Formations” (2017) for Theory, Culture and Society (with Nigel Clark) and “Geologic Realism” (2019) in Social Text. She is currently finishing a book entitled, Geologic Life: Inhuman Intimacies and the Geophysics of Race, which addresses the geologies of race under colonialism and its material afterlives.
(Extra)Terrestrial Currents is an online programme of artist moving image, sound and text, presenting a screening programme with artists Thirza Cuthand, Ayesha Hameed, Evan Ifekoya and Himali Singh Soin, a commission by artist and composer Hannah Catherine Jones and a reading list by scholar Kathryn Yusoff.