Habitation in the Anthropocene:
An Interdisciplinary Interaction

Zev Trachtenberg, Antonio J. Castro, Kiza Gates, Asa Randall, Ingo Schlupp, Lynn Soreghan, Noah Theriault & Meghan Wieters

November, 2015

The Anthropocene proposal raises fundamental questions about the character and impact of human habitation of Earth. This website presents an interdisciplinary inquiry into those questions which builds on the form of intellectual interaction made possible by blogging. The site represents interactions by means of network graphs such as the one you see to the left; click on "Select a view" from the menu at the right end of the bar beneath the graph (click horizontal line button if not visible) to see others.

The site brings together a series of blog posts which originally appeared on Inhabiting the Anthropocene, a blog run by an interdisciplinary team of scholars at the University of Oklahoma. The series was organized in response to the call for proposals for the Social Media in the Anthropocene project. We had begun our blog precisely on the view that the blogging form is an especially appropriate medium for conveying the kind of broad discussions among scholars of diverse backgrounds and interests that the Anthropocene idea invites. Indeed, the blog was an outgrowth of a reading group we had run over several semesters: we launched it as a venue in which we could continue our conversations, and open them to a wider circle of participants.

We joined the Social Media in the Anthropocene project in order to test an hypothesis. The blog is a trace of our interactions--and these would be seen by reading the series of posts in order. But we want to find a way of representing our interaction as a singular thing--so that readers might encounter not only what each of us said in our individual posts, but also a kind of complex and diversely articulated understanding of our topic that emerges from considering our posts as a collective whole. Our experiment is thus to see if we have indeed produced and made manifest a level of meaning beyond whatever might have accumulated, post by post.

We invite you to participate in our experiment, by using this site to produce a set of network graphs. Each graph illustrates a different relationship among the posts (represented by the circular nodes)--in terms of four intellectual approaches (related to our academic disciplines), and four broad themes that, looking back on the finished series, we noticed had concerned us.

We intend those graphs to be the main way of interacting with our work. You can get to the posts from this home page--simply hover the mouse in the graph to see their titles (on the graph) and a preview (below the graph); click a node to read the post in full (in this space). But you can generate additional graphs that reveal different relationships among posts by clicking the "Select a View" drop-down menu (right end of the the bar below the graph; click horizontal line button if not visible). Please see the User Guide--available on the top menu (click horizontal line button on the right end if not visible)--for a full explanation of how the site works. (You can call up the guide in any view to get help on how to operate, and find your way in, that view.)

We think of this site as a gateway into an intellectual space, the structure of which we hope we have begun to map. We invite you to enter and explore.