Between Gaia and Ground
Four Axioms of Existence and the Ancestral Catastrophe of Late Liberalism
Published by: Duke University Press Books
200 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 5 illustrations
- ISBN: 9781478014577
- Published: September 2021
In Between Gaia and Ground Elizabeth A. Povinelli theorizes the climatic, environmental, viral, and social catastrophe present as an ancestral catastrophe that Indigenous and colonized peoples have been suffering through for centuries. In this way, the violence and philosophies the West relies on now threatens the West itself. Engaging with the work of Glissant, Deleuze and Guattari, Césaire, and Arendt, Povinelli highlights four axioms of existence—the entanglement of existence, the unequal distribution of power, the collapse of the event as essential to political thought, and the legacies of racial and colonial histories. She traces these axioms' inspiration in anticolonial struggles against the dispossession and extraction that have ruined the lived conditions for many on the planet. By examining the dynamic and unfolding forms of late liberal violence, Povinelli attends to a vital set of questions about changing environmental conditions, the legacies of violence, and the limits of inherited western social theory. Between Gaia and Ground also includes a glossary of the keywords and concepts that Povinelli has developed throughout her work.
“Engaging with modern philosophy’s original problem of how to ground truth (approached in ontological terms) within the limits of human existence (delimited in historical terms), Beyond Gaia and Ground proposes a starting point for thinking about the capitalist present that foregrounds precisely what pre- and post-Enlightenment European thinkers have consistently foreclosed. Locating colonial and racial power at the core of the thinking of existence, Elizabeth Povinelli provides an urgently needed corrective to contemporary critical theorizing's insistence in ignoring its existential conditions of emergence (thought in political terms).”~Denise Ferreira da Silva, author of, Unpayable Debt