Call and Response: SEM President’s Roundtable 2018, “Humanities’ Responses to the Anthropocene” – From Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Aaron S. Allen, Associate Professor of Musicology and Director, Environment & Sustainability Program (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Paul Crutzen (2002) proposed calling our current geological epoch the Anthro¬pocene. He shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for work understanding the chemistry of the ozone hole, and he was well aware of the science on the state of our planet. Crutzen worked with ecologist Eugene Stoermer, who previously advanced the idea of the Anthropocene. They cited precedents in Vladimir Verdnasky, who in the early twentieth century popularized the idea that life was a geological force. They also recognized Antonio Stoppani, who in the late nineteenth century proposed the “anthropozoic” era. But it was Crutzen’s 2002 paper in Nature that popularized the Anthropocene. As one critique noted, “The concept has enjoyed a truly meteoric career” (Malm and Hornborg 2014:62). Although not officially the name of a geological epoch, Anthropocene is used regularly to reference the increasing impacts humans have on the planet, such as climate catastrophe, nuclear threats, plastic pollution, and the sixth mass extinction.

Additional Information

Ethnomusicology, 64, no. 2 (Summer 2020): 304-307 (301-330)
Language: English
Date: 2020
anthropocentrism, ecocentrism, ecomusicology, roundtable, sustainability

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