Notes from the Anthropocene: Insuring the Apocalypse and Other Links


More adventures in nuclear incompetence: Lily Hay Newman, “Air Force Security Failed a Takeover Drill at a Nuclear Silo.”


Climate Change, Catastrophe, and the Anthropocene

We’re doomed. “A Galaxy Far, Far Away . . . Will Hit Ours.”

Lindsay Abrams, “Researchers: The Collapse of Greenland’s Ice Sheet Could Be a Bigger Disaster Than We Thought.”

Ari Phillips, “In Landmark Class Action, Farmers Insurance Sues Local Government for Ignoring Climate Change.” Is that what we need? For the insurance companies to get involved?

Yes. McKenzie Funk, “Insuring the Apocalypse.”

Paul Krugman, “Cutting Back on Carbon.”

On the flooding in the Balkans.

Everything is the worst: Ryan Koronowski, “House Votes to Deny Climate Science and Ties Pentagon’s Hands on Climate Change.”

And scientists agree, we should just start calling climate change “You will be burnt to a crisp and die.”

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ENGLIT 0570: American Liteary Traditions

Today marks the beginning of a new school year, and it is one I am very much looking forward to, as I’ve designed the course I’m teaching, “American Literary Traditions,” subtitled, “The American Disaster: 21st C. Perspectives,” specifically around many of the avenues I’m exploring in a dissertation-type way right now.  As such, I assume I will occasionally be posting on the progress of this course over the next year, and thought I’d provide the reading list for the fall semester:

Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster, 2nd ed., trans. Ann Smock (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995 [1986]).

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (New York: Vintage, 1953).

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (Norton Critical Edition), 2nd Ed., eds. Hershel Parker & Harrison Hayford (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2002).

The Shock Doctrine (Matt Whitecross, Michael Winterbottom & Naomi Klein, 2009).

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (New York: Back Bay Books, 1996).

Slavoj Žižek, Welcome to the Desert of the Real (New York: Verso, 2002).

It is an ambitious, and slightly idiosyncratic class, but I hope it proves challenging, thought-provoking, and fun for both my students and I.  We’re watching a documentary adaptation of Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine this first week, followed by reading Zizek’s book on 9/11 and Maurice Blanchot the following weeks, that’s before we even get to the three massive novels.  I can’t wait to see how it all goes down.