6th session of the CECUPS 2021-2022 research seminar: Oriol Batalla
Meeting room, Departamento de Sociología (Diagonal 690, torre 4, 1º planta, sala 4115) and online (zoom)
Oriol Batalla
Research line:
Comparative sociology of modernity

Necrocene: Capitalism as a Material and Psychological Necrosis


The aim of this article is to deconstruct, recast and challenge the material and ontological foundations of the

Anthropocene and the contemporary world by using the concept of Necrocene (McBrien, 2016), the age of death

and extinction due to capitalist accumulation. That is, this article ambitiously tries to illustrate how approaching

the current geological/cultural Anthropocene epoch through extinction and capitalism can be fruitful for

conceiving of the resultant global turmoil caused by capitalist logic of accumulation and extraction and

perpetuated by neoliberal late-capitalism. Through this alternative nomenclature, this essay will reframe the

cultural, political and ecological realms of the contemporary world through the necro-realities embedded in the

Necrocene: necropolitics, necroeconomics and necro-ontologies. From an Environmental Humanities perspective,

it will draw on current literature on Anthropocene Theories, Political Ecology and Critical Theory from a neo-

Marxist standpoint while providing a critique of these through the imaginaries the Necrocene sheds light upon.

Then, the theory of the Necrocene will be presented as a potential inroad towards new understandings of the

current planetary constant state of crisis through, extinction, death, its necro-realities and psychopolitics. The

Necrocene here is portrayed as both a danger and the key to come to terms with the current crises, moving beyond

the anthropocentrism of the Anthropocene nomenclature in an attempt to theoretically guide our understanding

towards the age of a liberated Earth and humanity.