This essay explores what I call an Anthropocene viewing condition, a contemporary spectator position in which images of nature, particularly moving images of natures past, resonate with present and future environmental loss. Analyzing natural disaster melodramas such as The Trail of ’98 (1928) and Deluge (1933) alongside popular science films about glaciers from the 1920s, I explore endangerment as both an explicit and latent structure of feeling in the Anthropocene.
An Anthropocene Viewing Condition
Jennifer Lynn Peterson is the author of Education in the School of Dreams: Travelogues and Early Nonfiction Film (Duke University Press, 2013). Her work has been published in JCMS, Feminist Media Histories, Camera Obscura, Moving Image, and numerous edited volumes. She is Professor and Chair of the Media Studies Program at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. Her book-in-progress, Cinema’s Ecological Past: Film History, Nature, and Endangerment Before 1960, is under contract with Columbia University Press.
Jennifer Lynn Peterson; An Anthropocene Viewing Condition. Representations 1 February 2022; 157 (1): 17–40. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2022.157.2.17
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