This book considers the ways in which contemporary American fiction seeks to imagine a mode of 'planetary memory' able to address the scalar and systemic complexities of the Anthropocene - the epoch in which the combined activity of the human species has become a geological force in its own right.
Authors examine the recent emergence of a literary and cultural imaginary of planetary memory, an imaginary which attempts to give form to the complex interrelations between human and non-human worlds, between local, national, and global concerns, and, perhaps most importantly, between historical and geological pasts, presents and futures.
Chapters highlight distinct regions and landscapes of the US - from the Appalachians, to the South West, the Rust Belt, New York City, Alaska, New Orleans and the Rocky Mountains - in order to examine how the ecological, economic and historical specificity of these environments is underpinned by their implication on networks of planetary significance and scope.
Overall, the collection aims to study, develop, and recognise new models of cultural memory and anxious anticipation as they emerge and evolve, thus opening new conversations about practices of remembering and remembrance on an increasingly fragile planet.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Textual Practice.