This paper explores the academic topography of the discourses on the anthropocene to delve into how the humanities can insightfully respond to the ecological crisis of the Earth through the lens of environmental humanities proposed in a 2020 book, The Anthropocene and the Humanities: From Climate Changes to a New Age of Sustainability by a scientific philosopher, Carolyn Merchant.
By publishing her latest book, The Anthropocene and the Humanities, Merchant, a pioneering scholar of ecofeminism, has recently started into inquiring into the discourses on the anthropocene, meaning a geological age led by anthropos/humans. In one of her most distinguished works of 1980, The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution, Merchant has revealed that the modern Western perception of nature, often identified with women, have been figuratively killing nature as well as women. Arguing in The Anthropocene and the Humanities that the anthropocene has been enacting a “second death of nature,” which has been practically and technially killing nature, Merchant calls for the insight of the environmental humanities that help us to build a “sustainable livelihood” based on the “partnership” between human and nonhuman nature.
This paper contemplates on what humanities can do in the era of anthropocenic planetarian crisis with the environmental humanistic alternatives in ecofeminist perspective to overcome the anthropocenic crisis aggravated by the covid-19 occurred at the point when the climate change was viscerally felt by the humans in the twenty first century.