Ecopoetics Along Shorelines


April 28, 2018

Dipesh Chakrabarty’s question, “who is the we?” at work in the conception of human self-understanding as species, strikes me as exemplary of the idea of self-understanding as a kind of taking (comprehendere). To understand oneself (as a species, as a “we”) is to grasp the whole of humanity, its universality, and to wrap yourself in it. By contrast, Stacy Alaimo’s effort to understand across species (to contemplate your shell on acid (even though you do not, technically speaking, have a shell)) might be thought as a self-break: a reconnection to humanity-as-identity, by giving-on-and-with those on-and-with whom you do not identify.

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