Chronicling the Capitalocene — History, Colonialism, and Capital in Annie Proulx’s Barkskins


  • Fritz Bommas Universität Augsburg



Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Deforestation, History, Narrative, Time, Logic of Elimination, Logic of Infinity, Settler-Colonialism


After first situating Annie Proulx’s Barkskins (2016) within the context of the Capitalocene, this essay turns to the novel’s historical narrative as decentering the individual human in a broadening account of history on the one hand, while on the other hand putting a renewed focus on the human through the central role of inequality and exploitation within the context of environmental destruction. In a second step, the essay turns to the novel’s representation of capitalism–colonialism as a destructive cycle founded upon the twin logics of elimination and (false) infinity. Barkskins, I make the case, enacts a critique of the underlying principles of the Capitalocene while remaining dedicated to the past—no particular vision of the future is offered up, even as history broadens in scope.

Author Biography

Fritz Bommas, Universität Augsburg

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Chair of American Studies




How to Cite

Bommas, Fritz. “Chronicling the Capitalocene — History, Colonialism, and Capital in Annie Proulx’s Barkskins”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 24, no. 1, Aug. 2023, pp. 41-57, doi:10.5283/copas.376.