Anthropocene islands

Anthropocene Islands is a periodic section of Island Studies Journal

The small island is one of the most emblematic and symbolic figures of the Anthropocene. In the media, academia and international policy-making, small islands are the most high-profile figures for debates about global warming, sea level rise, intensifying disasters such as hurricanes, the vast accumulations of plastics in surrounding oceans, and nuclear fallout. Just as notable, islands have become key laboratories for a whole range of novel approaches to philosophy, politics and ethics in the Anthropocene; from islands often being at the centre of contemporary debates about resilience and indigeneity, to newly emerging speculative ontologies and technologies for correlating to the forces of the Anthropocene. This explicitly positions the figure of the island in the Anthropocene at the centre of a wide range of key contemporary cross-disciplinary debates that cut across many intellectual concerns and practices.

This periodic section of Island Studies Journal considers the figure of the island in the Anthropocene. The papers in this  section answer three key questions:

  1. Why has the island emerged as one of the most emblematic figures of the Anthropocene?
  2. How are islands being reconfigured and appropriated in debates about the Anthropocene?
  3. What does the reconfiguring of islands in the Anthropocene tell us about how the stakes of the Anthropocene itself are more broadly being approached and engaged?

This  section is published within the journal on a periodic basis, though individual papers will be published online ahead of print as and when they complete the peer review and editorial process. Like all papers published in Island Studies Journal, all articles in this section are subject to peer review and will be freely downloadable and open access.

Submissions to and questions regarding this periodic section should be sent to the section’s lead editor Jonathan Pugh ( or to editor David Chandler ( Manuscripts must be between 5,000-10,000 words, must be written in excellent English, and must be prepared in accordance with the journal’s general submission guidelines: Please use ‘Anthropocene Islands’ as the title for your e-mail.

Lead editor: Jonathan Pugh, Editor: David Chandler

Anthropocene Islands papers

Anthropocene Islands wider project

The Anthropocene Islands periodic section is part of the broader Anthropocene Islands project led by Jonathan Pugh (see This incorporates a monthly reading group, agenda setting publications and talks, early career study spaces, workshops and events at conferences). The purpose of the project is stimulate debate and develop publications concerned with the figure of the island in the Anthropocene.