Artwork by Oliver Chandler

Anthropocene Islands

Jonathan Pugh

Professor of Island Studies

Newcastle, University, UK

The island has become a key figure of the Anthropocene – an epoch in which human entanglements with nature come to the fore. For a long time islands were romanticised or marginalised, seen as lacking modernity’s capacities for progress, vulnerable to the effects of catastrophic climate change and the afterlives of empire and coloniality. Today, however, the island is increasingly central to both policy-oriented and critical imaginaries that seek to more positively draw upon the island’s liminal and disruptive capacities, especially the relational entanglements and sensitivities its peoples and modes of life are said to exhibit.

The ‘Anthropocene Islands’ initiative gains its initial impetus from the (2021) book ‘Anthropocene Islands: Entangled Worlds’ (written by Jonathan Pugh and David Chandler). It explores the widespread turn to working with islands for the generation of new approaches to critical thinking, knowledge and policy practices associated with the Anthropocene. Through agenda-setting publications and talks, a monthly zoom reading group, an ongoing section of Island Studies Journal, an early career analytical study space, workshops and sessions at conferences, the ‘Anthropocene Islands’ initiative examines why and how engaging islands has become important for the generation of some of the core frameworks of contemporary Anthropocene thinking. A useful addition to the approach is also outlined in the 2021 Dialogues in Human Geography paper and discussion forum: ‘Anthropocene Islands: there are only islands after the end of the world’.

Anthropocene Islands: agenda-setting publications

New: Abyssal Geography

Zoom Monthly

Reading Group

‘Anthropocene Islands’

section  of

Island Studies Journal

Selection of talks, workshops, conferences and Podcasts

Early Career Analytical Study Space

Calls for papers

Email to join the Anthropocene Islands email list for updates about all aspects of the initiative.

Please feel free to contact Jonathan Pugh and/or David Chandler if you would like us to give a talk on ‘Anthropocene Islands’ (virtually or in person).

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