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Weathering: Climate Change and the “Thick Time” of Transcorporeality

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Abstract

In the dominant “climate change” imaginary, this phenomenon is distant and abstracted from our experiences of weather and the environment in the privileged West. Moreover, climate change discourse is saturated mostly in either neoliberal progress narratives of controlling the future or sustainability narratives of saving the past. Both largely obfuscate our implication therein. This paper proposes a different climate change imaginary. We draw on feminist new materialist theories—in particular those of Stacy Alaimo, Claire Colebrook, and Karen Barad—to describe our relationship to climate change as one of “weathering.” We propose the temporal frame of “thick time”—a transcorporeal stretching between present, future, and past—in order to reimagine our bodies as archives of climate and as making future climates possible. In doing so, we can rethink the temporal narratives of climate change discourse and develop a feminist ethos of responsivity toward climatic phenomena. This project reminds us that we are not masters of the climate, nor are we just spatially “in” it. As weather-bodies, we are thick with climatic intra-actions; we are makers of climate-time. Together we are weathering the world.

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