Let me begin with a quick caveat, an explanation, a request, and a “thank you”:
A caveat ⇢ Throughout this site I rely on lots of links to short articles and such, to help readers get a sense of the sense of the anthropocene that I am working with. Many of these links are not to any kind of authoritative source. That is intentional. The “anthropocene” is a recent term and, while it is meaningful in scientific circles, it is important that the term has been circulating heavily outside of such structures. Indeed, part of what I find interesting about the term is how we use it to capture an important sense of indeterminancy, a sense that “something” has happened, is happening, but that its meaningfulness is difficult to discern, even as its effects are felt. We are out of sync with the future.
Let me explain something ⇢ As you might have guessed, Black Haunts in the Anthropocene is a digital essay. It is important that it be digital because my argument is driven by a sense that our contemporary consciousness of the anthropocene is in itself a media effect. For me, there is something nascent here that speaks to a sense of human time that has been influenced by our daily experience of the digital. I, nor anyone else at this point, can make the call on whether the changes in our world were to come with or without us. But it may in fact be the case that our apprehension of this moment is made possible through an increased attenuation. In this sense “digital” marks a kind of movement, and this essay, though somewhat static nonetheless, can at least present its various texts in their proper forms.
No, really ⇢ Please. The media forms represented in this essay are here for a reason, links link, music plays, and the short film Pumzi is incredibly important. Please allow time to experience the various texts presented in the course of this argument. Avoid the impulse to privilege reading over the other kinds of representation in this essay. If modality weren’t on the table, I would have just sent you some photocopies. (You, whoever you are!)
And finally, a thank you ⇢ Thank you to anyone who takes the time to play with this site, but a special thanks to Princeton’s CAAS for the opportunity to present this work in progress, and to be a part of the amazing 'Black Studies in the Digital Age' workshop series. After the presentation, I will open each section for comments. I look forward to continuing our face to face conversations here.
The work recorded in this current version of Black Haunts is particularly interested in how contemporary cultural, political, and scientific notions of the 'anthropocene' cohere with matters of temporality in recent black literature and culture. To get at this I will offer three, short approaches to thinking the anthropocene.
(Again, as I mentioned in the preamble, this argument assumes that you have already spent time with my micro essay that preceded this project. If not, you can find it here.)
Exploration 1 :: #yournamehere : between activism and the archive
Exploration 2 :: digital melancholia and “the future of time”
Exploration 3 :: loving monsters or, the deep time of afrofuturism