The AnthropoceneA Multidisciplinary Approach
The Anthropocene
A Multidisciplinary Approach

The Anthropocene is intriguing scientifically, fascinating intellectually, and deeply disturbing politically, socially, economically, and ethically.  We must learn how to co-exist sustainably with the rest of nature in what is emerging as a new planetary state.  To do so, we must first understand what "Anthropocene" means in all its dimensions. This book adopts a multidisciplinary approach, starting with the question of how people from very different fields might construct useful conversations about a phenomenon that is simultaneously natural-and-human. It then explores the Anthropocene as a geological concept: ranging across the physical changes to the landscape, to the rapidly heating climate, to a biosphere undergoing transformation. 

And what of the "anthropos" in the Anthropocene? While geoscience does not normally address political and ethical issues of justice and equity, or economics and culture, Anthropocene studies in the humanities and social sciences investigate the complexities of the human activity driving global change.  Here the book looks at human history, both in the deep past and more recently, the politics and economics of growth spurring the Anthropocene, and potential ways of mitigating its cruel effects.  Our fragile, still beautiful, planet is finite. The new realities of the Anthropocene will need our best efforts, across disciplinary divides, at effective hope and action.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • November 2020
  • 256 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509534593
  • Paperback $26.95
  • 9781509534609
  • Open eBook $26.95
  • 9781509534616
Table of Contents
About the Authors
1. The Multidisciplinary Anthropocene
2. The Geological Context of the Anthropocene
3. The Anthropocene as a Geological Time Unit and the Great Acceleration
4. The Anthropocene and Climate Change
5. The Anthropocene and the Biosphere's Transformation
6. The "Anthropos" of the Anthropocene
7. The Economics and Politics of Planetary Limits
8. The Existential Challenges of the Anthropocene
About the Author

Julia Adeney Thomas is Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

Mark Williams is Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester and former secretary and a member of the Anthropocene Working Group

Jan Zalasiewicz is Emeritus Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester and a member, formerly Chair, of the Anthropocene Working Group of the International Commission on Stratigraphy

Show More


“An accessible tour de force and an ideal starting point for anyone seeking an understanding of the Anthropocene predicament.”
John R. McNeill, Georgetown University

“Earth System scientists have proposed the Anthropocene and geologists are confirming its reality. This work explores more important questions: what does the Anthropocene really mean for humanity and what are the many ways we could deal with it?”
Will Steffen, Australian National University

Show More