This paper examines the genre of the postcard—a popular technology for the transmission of memory—in order to understand the spatiotemporal politics of Anthropocene imagining. Prof Wenzel is particularly interested in apocalyptic visions of environmental futurity that borrow images of contemporary Third World poverty and ecological degradation in order to posit them as the First World’s future. While Europe’s others were once seen as inhabiting a lesser past, now they're seen as inhabiting its projected future inferior. The consequences of carbon accumulation in the future are imagined to look a lot like being on the wrong end of capital accumulation in the present, with little acknowledgement of the shared but uneven history that joins them. These are among the thought grooves of the status quo that are so difficult to escape, at least from within the inertia of the fossil-fuelled “chain of ease.” Like so much else, the future will be unevenly distributed.”
Please see the full seminar series programme available on our website here.