In May 2021, Mohamad Amer Meziane published his first book, Des empires sous la terre: Histoire écologique et raciale de la sécularisation (Subterranean Empires: Ecological and Racial History of Secularization). We speak with him about the ambitious work he develops in this book, linking European secularization (and Europe’s definition of what constitutes religion) with colonial extractivism from the first industrial revolution to the alteration of the world’s climate.
Mohamad Amer Meziane holds a PhD in Philosophy from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University. He is currently a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Religion Culture and Public and the Institute of African studies at Columbia Unversity. His first book, Des empires sous la terre, published in 2021 by La Découverte, deploys an eco-racial history of secularization. Inventing the concept of the Secularocene to describe aspects of the present climate crisis, he argues that orientalism and climate change can be seen as two facets of the secularization of empires during the 19th century.