Green emerges through arrangements that involve human and nonhuman agencies, including the movement of light through an object, a body that measures and interprets the light, and the social worlds in relation to which such interpretations take form. Green shares affective space with ideas about nature, the countryside, fertility, and life. But profound disjunctures mark the imaginative and political legacies of green. These disjunctures exist even at the level of language. The Germanic languages, including English, associate “green” with vitality (Oxford English Dictionary 2012). There is no end to green life, if we conceive of the color partly as an English word, thriving within Anglophone print culture. Even the sea, which first lent its name to “the Blue Planet” in the era of the Apollo 8 photographs of Earth, is green, at the bottom of English. “Designating the water of the sea,” “green” served English writers as an epithet of Neptune (ca. 1450). The development of “green” as a signifier within a web of lively, embodied signifieds propels it toward Anglophone usage as a hip synonym for “ecological” and “environmental” (ca. early 1970s). The darker aspects of green as a multivalent sign enter the word “green” largely through the ancient...

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