Blogs and essays

1945 marked a watershed moment in both human and Earth history. For the first time, a single species had the potential to destroy not just its own global population, but that of all other living things as well. Yet over the next half-century, scientists, environmentalists and industrialists managed to identify a seemingly neverending list of other existential threats to life on Earth. Many of these – DDT, nuclear winter, global warming, Ozone depletion – were clearly anthropogenic. Others – asteroids, volcanoes, magnetic field reversal – were not. Extinction has a history, and what it meant resonated in the global twentieth century, from cold-war geopolitics to everyday environmental injustice and imaginations of other forms of life.

This online exhibition (inspired by Dr Cath Feely’s Exploring the Slum) is the work of Level 6 (3rd year) students at Keele University on the module ‘Extinction: Existential Panic since 1945.’ Students are asked to produce exhibitory materials in one of four categories: biography, controversy, campaign, protest. Content is devised by the students: it could be based on a specific source material, event or person, an engagement with a core debate or analysis of key archive or research project.

We hope you enjoy this exhibition, which will be added to each time the module runs.

If you have any questions, contact the module leader, Ben Anderson (b.anderson@keele.ac.uk @Ben_MAnderson).