Elizabeth DeLoughrey publishes new book “Allegories of the Anthropocene”

June 19, 2019

Congratulations to Elizabeth DeLoughrey on the publication of her new monograph, Allegories of the Anthropocene (Duke University Press, 2019).

The book traces how indigenous and postcolonial peoples in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands grapple with the enormity of colonialism and anthropogenic climate change through art, poetry, and literature. In these works, authors and artists use allegory as a means to understand the multiscalar complexities of the Anthropocene and to critique the violence of capitalism, militarism, and the postcolonial state. DeLoughrey examines the work of a wide range of artists and writers—including poets Kamau Brathwaite and Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, Dominican installation artist Tony Capellán, and authors Keri Hulme and Erna Brodber—whose work addresses Caribbean plantations, irradiated Pacific atolls, global flows of waste, and allegorical representations of the ocean and the island. In examining how island writers and artists address the experience of finding themselves at the forefront of the existential threat posed by climate change, DeLoughrey demonstrates how the Anthropocene and empire are mutually constitutive and establishes the vital importance of  allegorical art and literature in understanding our global environmental crisis.

Rob Nixon, author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, has called Allegories of the Anthropocene a “book of oceanic reach, in every sense. [DeLoughrey’s] transformative thinking will reverberate across the environmental humanities, postcolonial studies, and the Anthropocene debates for many years to come.”

Two features of the book’s publication are worth noting:

1) All author’s royalties will be donated to The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).

2) The book will also be published as part of a pilot program of digital open-access books via the platform “Towards an Open Monograph Ecology” (TOME). UCLA is part of this program—more information can be found here and at the UCLA library site here.