Telemorphosis: Theory in the Era of Climate Change, Vol. 1

edited by Tom Cohen

Series: Critical Climate Change

ISBN 978-1-60785-237-7

This volume gathers notable critics and philosophers to engage the predominant impasse of an emerging era of climate change and ecocatastrophic acceleration: that is, how conceptual and critical practices inherited from 20th century master-thinkers—who took no account of these emergences and logics—alter, adapt, mutate, or undergo translation at the current moment. Rather than assume that the humanities and philosophic practices of the past routed in the rethinking of language and power are suspended as irrelevant before mutations of the biosphere itself, Telemorphosis asks how, in fact, the latter have always been imbricated in these cognitive and linguistic practices and remain so, which is also to ask how a certain violence returns, today, to entirely different fields of reference. The writers in the volume ask, implicitly, how the 21st century horizons that exceed any political, economic, or conceptual models alters or redefines a series of key topoi. These range through figures of sexual difference, bioethics, care, species invasion, war, post-carbon thought, ecotechnics, time, and so on. As such, the volume is also a dossier on what metamorphoses await the legacies of “humanistic” thought in adapting to, or rethinking, the other materialities that impinge on contemporary “life as we know it.”

With contributions by Robert Markley, J. Hillis Miller, Bernard Stiegler, Justin Read, Timothy Clark, Claire Colebrook, Jason Groves, Joanna Zylinska, Catherine Malabou, Mike Hill, Martin McQuillan, Eduardo Cadava and Tom Cohen.

Unflinching, lucid analyses of a “catastrophe in progress” and its obliteration of all notions of critical distance. Deeply unsettling, these essays confront the persistent remnants of master narratives of globalization by immersing us in their debris—ecological, economic, demographic, political, and critical—to exact new forms of critical attentiveness.

Suzanne Gauch — Temple University

Editor Bio

Tom Cohen is Professor of English and co-director of the Institute on Critical Climate Change at the University at Albany. He is the author of Anti-Mimesis, Ideology and Inscription, and Hitchcock’s Cryptonymies v. 1 & 2. His most recent title, co-authored with Claire Colebrook and J. Hillis Miller, is Theory and the Disappearing Future: On de Man, On Benjamin (Routledge, 2011).