The Anthropocene is built on complex technological systems that span the globe. Historians of science have done much to document the emergence of this “technosphere.” Yet more interdisciplinary and regionally diverse approaches are needed to understand the complexity and unpredictability of the technosphere in our Anthropocene times. Rather than assuming a single planetary phenomenon, this essay emphasizes the widely varied lived experiences of the Anthropocene. Taking industrialized mining and oil drilling as examples of the technosphere, it examines three African localities of resource extraction—the Congolese Copperbelt, the South African Witwatersrand, and the Niger Delta in Nigeria—to ask why the environmental transformations of large-scale industry have caused violent protest in one locality but apparent acquiescence in others. The concept of the Anthropocene urges historians of science to connect questions about scientific knowledge and technology to issues of environmental change, economic organization, political power, social differentiation, and cultural imagination. This broad approach, the essay suggests, can prove extremely fruitful in explaining historical variations and contemporary responses to the Anthropocene.
|Tijdschrift||Isis, the international journal for the history of science|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||2|
|Status||Published - jun-2022|