The Anglophone and the Anthropocene: Postcolonial in the Present Tense

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This brief essay outlines the case for a postcolonial presentism arising at the intersection of two urgent areas of inquiry: the literary and linguistic study of global Anglophonism, on the one hand, and the humanistic and social-scientific study of the Anthropocene, on the other. It explores a series of entangled definitions of the Anglophone and the Anthropocene, including how each serves as an assessment of the uneven present, as a universalizing discourse, and as a force of temporalization. The essay contests the proposition that the key conceptual problem posed by the present is its “unthinkability” and argues instead for a reconsideration, through a strategically presentist postcolonial literary studies, of the present’s relationship to past and future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-205
Number of pages15
JournalModern Language Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022


  • Anglophone
  • Anthropocene
  • India
  • South Asia
  • postcolonial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'The Anglophone and the Anthropocene: Postcolonial in the Present Tense'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this