Geschichte und Gesellschaft 2020 Jg. 46, Heft 4, Writing History in the Anthropocene
Zeitschrift für Historische Sozialwissenschaft
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Since 2000, earth scientists from various disciplines have invited their colleagues, other scientists and humanists, politicians, NGOs, as well as the public at large, to consider consigning the contemporary geological epoch of the Holocene to the past, by superimposing a new time interval, the Anthropocene. Anthropocene geologists claim that we are witnessing the turn of a new page in geohistory because past and present societal actions in the aggregate have become a powerful force, shaping and changing the earth system and thus earth history at its planetary or terrestrial scales of space and time – equal, for instance, to the climate-driving forces already at work. By accepting this claim, we simultaneously re-open the pages of history and start to reassess and rewrite the pasts of various societies or actors because geological and historical dimensions have become interdependent. How have historians, by adding their own repertoire of approaches and tools, engaged with these issues?