In the early 2000s, Dipesh Chakrabarty powerfully defined the historical terms at stake in the shift from the postcolonial to the Anthropocene era, arguing that the posthuman image of a world without us profoundly contradicts historical practices for visualizing time. The notion of history that his essay foregrounded, however, can itself be historicized as a fantasy of modernity, one Édouard Glissant described as “History [with a capital H].” Using Glissant’s psychoanalytically inflected insights as a starting point, this article argues that our dominant modes of historical thinking are always already colored by the anxieties and neurotic symptoms of the colonialist viewer. The argument then traces experimental hypotheses regarding the near and deep history of the human by key figures from the late nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries—such as Sigmund Freud and Octave Mannoni, Paul Gilroy and Sylvia Wynter, and Frank Wilderson and Bruno Latour—as they grapple with two intimations: that the subject picturing a “world without us” is neurotic and that alternative historical sensibilities may lie on the other side of our apocalyptic imagination of the “end of the world.”

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