Ecopolitical Homelessness: Defining place in an unsettled world, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ecopolitical Homelessness

Defining place in an unsettled world, 1st Edition

By Gerard Kuperus


174 pages

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Paperback: 9780815355809
pub: 2017-12-21
Hardback: 9781138649859
pub: 2016-05-23
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While our world is characterized by mobility, global interactions, and increasing knowledge, we are facing serious challenges regarding the knowledge of the places around us. We understand and navigate our surroundings by relying on advanced technologies. Yet, a truly knowledgeable relationship to the places where we live and visit is lacking.

This book proposes that we are utterly lost and that the loss of a sense of place has contributed to different crises, such as the environmental crisis, the immigration crisis, and poverty. With a rising number of environmental, political, and economic displacements the topic of place becomes more and more relevant and philosophy has to take up this topic in more serious ways than it has done so far. To counteract this problem, the book provides suggestions for how to think differently, both about ourselves, our relationship to other people, and to the places around us. It ends with a suggestion of how to understand ourselves in an eco-political community, one of humans and other living beings as well as inanimate objects.

This book will be of great interest to researchers and students of environmental ethics and philosophy as well as those interested in the environmental humanities more generally.


"While it is deeply rooted in Continental thought, this important work takes this enterprise in many new and sometimes illuminatingly surprising directions. We live in a curious time in which we imagine that we are at home everywhere in an increasingly homogenous world, but we cannot see that this is precisely the mark of our alienation: although we are all over the place (and place is increasing the same place everywhere), we have no real sense of place. Kuperus’s wake-up call allows us to see Nietzsche’s refusal of the homogenous herd and his call to be true to the earth as having made the “turn to place.” The book also builds powerful new bridges into classical Zen thought (especially Dogen Zenji) and indigenous Tlingit thought." Jason Wirth, Seattle University, USA

"Place remains one of the most central and compelling themes in environmental philosophy, and Gerard Kuperus’s Ecopolitical Homelessness makes one of the most noteworthy contributions to this central concern in recent years. Kuperus insightfully diagnoses the unique form of homelessness that afflicts much of the industrialized global north and, increasingly, the world—a form of homelessness obscured precisely by the degree to which globalization and homogenization give us the superficial sense of being at home everywhere, while simultaneously alienating us from the particular local realities that make up genuine places. Calling for a radical transition in our thinking and acting, Kuperus outlines a persuasive new ecopolitics of belonging, which incorporates both implacement and nomadism. In so doing, he points toward the way in which we can be responsible inhabitants of a planet faced with diverse environmental, social, and political challenges." Brian Treanor, Loyola Marymount University, USA

"Kuperus provides a fresh approach to what at times is in danger of becoming a worn topic. We all can benefit from the exceptionally clear expositions of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Deleuze and Guattari that convincingly connect their ideas to environmental problems. More than that, the sure use of Latour to reassess the relationships between nature and politics is extended beyond Euro-centric positions by the interesting attention to Dogen and Tlingit peoples."–Robert Mugerauer, University of Washington, USA

"The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus unpacks the three critical components of development in India given concerns about climate change and sustainable resource management." - Elise Harrington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Table of Contents



1. Nietzsche, the Wandering Philosopher

2. Lost at Home: Heidegger and the phenomenologists on Being-in-the-World

3. Plastic Places, Settled Nomads: An Analysis of Our Sense of Place Through Foucault and Deleuze

4. Walking and Thinking Mountains: Dōgen, Leopold, and the Tlingit

5. Conclusion: Toward an Eco-Political Homelessness

About the Author

Gerard Kuperus is Assistant Professor at the University of San Francisco, USA, specializing in philosophy of nature and environmental philosophy.

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

From microplastics in the sea to hyper-trends such as global climate change, mega-extinction, and widening social disparities and displacement, we live on a planet undergoing tremendous flux and uncertainty. At the center of this transformation is human culture, both contributing to the state of the world and responding to planetary change. The Routledge Environmental Humanities Series seeks to engage with contemporary environmental challenges through the various lenses of the humanities and to explore foundational issues in environmental justice, multicultural environmentalism, ecofeminism, environmental psychology, environmental materialities and textualities, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, environmental communication and information management, multispecies relationships, and related topics. The series is premised on the notion that the arts, humanities, and social sciences, integrated with the natural sciences, are essential to comprehensive environmental studies.

The environmental humanities are a multidimensional discipline encompassing such fields as anthropology, history, literary and media studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies; however, the Routledge Environmental Humanities is particularly eager to receive book proposals that explicitly cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing the full force of multiple perspectives to illuminate vexing and profound environmental topics. We favor manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. Our readers include scholars and students from across the span of environmental studies disciplines and thoughtful citizens and policy makers interested in the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (, to submit proposals.

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA

Professor Joni Adamson, Arizona State University, USA

Professor YUKI Masami, Kanazawa University, Japan

Previous editors:

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Dr Paul Warde, Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, Princeton University, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Deborah Bird Rose, University of New South Wales, Australia, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy