This special issue on scale was initiated by Dr. Dawne McCance in September of 2015. The original aim was to frame the question of climate change as much as the term "Anthropocene" by virtue of a longer history, a broader usage, and in terms of a larger range of materialist effects and processes than either one of the former keywords suggests. Why? Ultimately, because there is reason to suggest that the current ecological "crisis" can only be understood interdisciplinarily; i.e., through the cumulative effects of a multiplicity of complexly interconnected systems, including the technological, environmental, liberal democratic, biological, climatic, reproductive, etc. Furthermore, there is the sense that the kind of analysis necessitated is beyond the reach of any one perspective, that the complexity and scale of forces at play warrant such an approach, that the limited architecture of the academic institution demands it, and, finally, that the constitutive processes at stake—all echoing through with the matter of lifedeath (see Mosaic issues 48.2 to 48.4)—are always-already woven into the Derridean notion of the trace.
To highlight the contributions in this regard, there is Serpil Oppermann's theoretical map of the basic territory and her notion of "storied matter," which she describes as matter with narrative performance built into its very bones. Also working in this vein and providing sobering and concrete details of life and death in the Pacific is Christina Gerhardt, who focuses on plastic's place both in the food chain [End Page v] and the geological record. Sarah Dimick tackles the question of culpability in the surprising genre of Cli-fi, or climate fiction, a cross between Sci-fi and the clichés of the whodunit, which addresses climate change within the narratological bounds of the crime story. Dean Anthony Brink uncovers a new type of senryū appearing in Japanese newspapers post-Fukushima that served the minimal eco-political end of truth-telling by speaking to the abstruse anxieties around nuclear meltdown. Simon C. Estok focuses on the Anthropocene from the perspective of animal studies and an expanded notion of ethics. Jane Poyner looks at the contradictory registers of the ecological crisis and poverty in the Third World through the optic of The God of Small Things. Her question is how subaltern agency might provide an example for the task of thinking across scales in the new planetary order. Finding an equally surprising eco-warrior in Provence, Keith Moser focuses on the protagonist of Jean Giono's L'Homme qui plantait des arbres. Shifting the register of scale to the nation-state, Laura Hunt looks at the "jungle novels" of Mário Andrade and Ciro Alegría that appropriate the Amazon for a national imaginary. Keying reading to infinite smallness, Axel Pérez Trujillo Diniz focuses on Manoel de Barros's poetics of naming flora and fauna in the Pantanal, or Brazilian wetlands. With an ear for timing, Dale Tracy analyzes the potential for tapping ecological guilt in order to build shared ideals around environmental change. Chien-Hung Chen looks to Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy to grapple with the altered scale of time in the Anthropocene and the pervasive sense—exhortation, even—that we all need to form intentional communities of one kind or another. Finally, through the forgotten figure of nineteenthcentury fossil collector and amateur palaeontologist Mary Anning, Cynthia Sugars comes to terms with the question of deep time and species extinction from the perspective of continuity provided by the historical novel. [End Page vi]