Today is a simple post. Ecology, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity is out in about three weeks, and I've already started outreach to some places to promote it. That’s why the world's slowest radical book tour has begun to take shape.
|When you convince your university's
library to carry my book, you'll be
able to read it for free (as long as
you're a student). By the time you
graduate, the softcover should be out.
I should clarify this obviously premature release to start. I have yet to book a single promotional event. I’ve only just begun outreach to some folks I know who work at different universities around the world about ordering some copies for their campus libraries and departments.
I’m also preparing a presentation on the book, specifically its key political ideas, that I’d present. I plan to give talks at campuses as a guest speaker of departments and classes, as well as less formal locations like public meeting spaces or galleries, around Toronto and the wider region. And I’ll also arrange remote presentations at locations farther away to promote the book without spending too much of my travel budget.*
* Which at the moment, are passes for the TTC and GO Transit, as well as an internet connection.
All these talks, whether remote or in the same room, however long they'll eventually proceed, add up to the World’s Slowest Radical Book Tour.
I have no idea whether it's actually the slowest book tour in the world, but I can claim the label if only as a matter of branding.
Ecology, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity is for people who like books that make them think, who care about environmental issues, and are fascinated by science, philosophy, politics, and social movements. It helps you draw connections between all these different areas of human knowledge in a way that helps you understand our collective condition.
What must humanity be to have landed ourselves in this ecological mess we've turned the Earth into? What must humanity become to crawl ourselves out in one piece?
These promotions focus on universities right now because EEFH is being published in Palgrave's academic stream, their series labelled Studies on the Future of Humanity and Its Successors. It’s a series on transhumanism, and my peculiarly ecological take is sure to make the series stand out in the field.
Transhumanism has been dominated by visions of technology transforming humanity into a form that overcomes all its problems, an escape from the messy reality of life as biological beings. We'll live forever in worlds of absolute pleasure and fulfillment and never go hungry again. Literally, that’s what typical transhumanists write.
Not that there aren’t more sensible transhumanists in the West’s intellectual world. The most sensible one I know is my formidable opponent who introduced me to Palgrave in the first place. Despite that, transhumanist discourse needs a firm kick up the rhetorical backside.
And the best foot for it is a Green one.
More than that, the World Slowest Radical Book Tour is my first tentative step to bring creative philosophy out of the academy and into a popular space. This is why the book tour will take so long. The university-based phase over the 2015-6 academic year will promote Ecology, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity to the academic markets that can afford its launch price.
After that comes the softcover, which will be more accessible and ride on some of the initial buzz around campuses that the university phase of the tour will create. Philosophy is, and always was, a tradition of thought and discussion as well as an academic discipline. It was a tradition long before it was in the academy, and philosophy will continue long after the academy changes so much that there's no longer a place for it there.
It won’t continue, however, unless all of us who care about it put some effort and ingenuity into taking a few of the tradition's eggs out of the campus basket. Some have started it, but the movement can grow. One person's efforts at a time.
• • •
Ecology, Ethics, and the Future of Humanity will be available from Palgrave MacMillan on August 19. Philosophy students, graduate workers, temporary and permanent faculty, ask your departments and libraries to carry a copy or three. The tradition isn’t over.