Visiting Scholar Bruce Buchan’s latest publication

Associate Professor Bruce Buchan, the Research Centre’s recent visitor, has been published in Arena. A captivating examination of the notion of time in the Anthropocene, Bruce eloquently captures humanity’s relationship with time:

“We humans have always understood ourselves as creatures in time—carriers of meaning from the past, and imaginers of futures pieced together, as a palimpsest, from memories, legacies and echoes. Wrapping us around like a trailing shroud, time tangles about our feet. We humans only ever stumble forwards. Time is our constant companion. Its beat demarcates our shared mortality. It is time that venerates received wisdom. It is time that lacerates us with inherited suffering. Time feeds our future fears as it kindles our cherished dreams.”

He later describes how time reveals itself in the present:

“Time in the Anthropocene is weird. It seems warped, buckled and bent out of shape. The future we forebodingly forecast only yesterday is overborne by even worse predictions today. It is as if the passage of time has been creased and folded back upon itself, tugging the present through and beyond the future, making futures past; it bends our anticipations back into the immediate present and reveals them as decades-long-dead possibilities. In the Anthropocene, projections of the future have no purchase in the present.”

The major question Bruce explores is “What must humanity be or become when we are out of time?” and the journey he takes the reader on to answer that is engaging and compelling. Enjoy the read.