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Readings in the Anthropocene brings together scholars from German Studies and beyond to interpret the German tradition of the last two hundred years from a perspective that is mindful of the challenge posed by the concept of the Anthropocene. This new age of man, unofficially pronounced in 2000, holds that humans are becoming a geological force in shaping the Earth's future. Among the biggest challenges facing our future are climate change, accelerated species loss, and a radical transformation of land use. What are the historical, philosophical, cultural, literary, and artistic responses to this new concept? The essays in this volume bring German culture to bear on what it means to live in the Anthropocene from a historical, ethical, and aesthetic perspective.
Music and the Environment in Dystopian Narrative: Sounding the Disaster investigates the active role of music in film and fiction portraying climate crisis. From contemporary science fiction and environmental film to “Anthropocene opera,” the most arresting eco-narratives draw less on background music than on the power of sound to move fictional action and those who receive it. Beginning with a reflection on a Mozart recording on the 1970s’ Voyager Golden Record, this book explores links between music and violence in Lidia Yuknavitch’s 2017 novel The Book of Joan, songless speech in the opera Persephone in the Late Anthropocene, interrupted lyricism in the eco-documentary Expedition to the End of the World, and dread-inducing hurricane music in the Brecht-Weill opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. In all of these works, music allows for a state of critical vulnerability in its hearers, communicating planetary crisis in an embodied way. .
Global seawater levels are rising and the low-lying coasts of the North Sea basin are amongst the most vulnerable in Europe. In our current moment of environmental crisis, the North Sea coasts are literary arenas in which the challenges and concerns of the Anthropocene are being played out. This book shows how the fragile landscapes around the North Sea have served as bellwethers for environmental concern both now and in the recent past. It looks at literary sources drawn from the countries around the North Sea (Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and England) from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, taking them out of their established national and cultural contexts and reframing them in the light of human concern with fast-changing and hazardous environments. The six chapters serve as literary case studies that highlight memories of flood disaster and recovery, attempts to engineer the landscape into submission, perceptions of the landscape as both local and global, and the imagination of the future of our planet. This approach, which combines environmental history and ecocriticism, shows the importance of cultural artefacts in understandings of, and responses to, environmental change, and advocates for the importance of literary studies in the environmental humanities. This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of the Environmental Humanities, including Eco-criticism and Environmental History, as well as anyone studying literature from the Germanic philologies.
In the last two years the German art scene has experienced a tremendous growth unlike anything since the early 1980s -- owing to a revitalized Berlin and an ever-expanding cultural diversity. German Open captures this energy by giving an overview of more than 30 of the best young artists working in Germany today. The artists documented represent the entire spectrum of visual art, from installation to painting to video, and their work can no longer be viewed as a matter of scattered individual gestures, but must be examined in a group context. Among the artists included here are Franz Ackerman, Kai Althoff, Simone Bohm, Coisma von Bonin, Matti Braun, Olafur Eliasson, Stefan Hoderlein, Stefan Kern, Michel Majerus, Tobias Rehberger, Daniel Richter, Heidi Specker, Johannes Wohnseifer, and Joseph Zehrer.

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