Reading: Postcolonial Studies and Climate Change

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A reading by Dipesh Chakrabarty, The University of Chicago titled ‘Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change’ that discusses the link between globalization and global warming. Chakrabarty discusses this link through the writings of Homi K. Bhabha, that aims to stretch post colonial thinking to include the reality of climate change and global warming. The reading also discusses the challenges that climate change issues pose in a “neoliberal” capitalist world. Chakrabarty highlights the three images of human that currently exist:

  1. The universalist-Enlightenment view of the human with the ability to exercise rights 
  2. The globalized view of the human
  3. The human as a geological force that changes the climate 

Chakrabarty makes this distinction to understand the current debate between society, globalization and climate change. Through the writings of Homi K. Bhabha, the reading discusses ‘the postcolonial criticism of the human’ and ‘the human in the anthropocene’ that focuses on issues such as anthropogenic global warming, degradation of the natural environment and the development of humanity. 

Students will learn about postcolonial globalization and climate change. They will also learn about the criticism that postcolonial thinkers have about the current age of the anthropocene and the increasing changes in the climate. Students will further learn about the attempts that postcolonial thinkers have made to ensure that climate change and global warming are part of the human reality for future preservation of the environment. Additionally, students will learn about the failed recognition that society gives to the interdependence of humans on nature and its natural beings.   

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is the link between globalization and climate change?
  2. How do postcolonial thinkers criticise the age of the anthropocene?
  3. Discuss the three images that postcolonial thinkers have created for the human 
  4. How can postcolonial studies about the anthropocene inform the future?

About the Tool 

Tool NamePostcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change 
Topic(s) in DisciplinePostcolonial Studies, Cultural Studies, Neoliberalism, Anthropocene, Globalization, Capitalism
Climate Topic Climate and the Anthroposphere; Climate and Society
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate 
Developed byDipesh Chakrabarty New Literary History (Vol 43, 1)
Hosted atThe Johns Hopkins University Press
Computer SkillsBasic
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