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Archives of the Planetary

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Organizer: Christine Xiong

Co-Organizer: Fiana Kawane

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Édouard Glissant, in Poetics of Relation (1990), famously emphasizes that “Cultures develop in a single planetary space but to different ‘times.’ It would be impossible to determine either a real chronological order or an unquestionable hierarchical order for these times.” Our seminar takes up Glissant’s suggestion and orients it toward the politics of the archive in our planetary age. In many ways, anthropogenic climate change forces us to reckon with the dissolution of the archive proper. Consider, for instance, oceanic archives that are soluble, protean, and against inscription; or, consider what gets taken up as waste in the Anthropocene and how plastics, driftwood, and other forms of detritus inform our environmental imaginaries, aesthetic practices, and diasporic lifeworlds. What if we understand the planetary as archive, or the archive as ecology? How do planetary archives of the Global South illuminate the material, somatic, affective, and epistemological effects of colonial and racial capitalist discourses and practices? How might we surface environmental onto-epistemologies of the Global South through new modes of reading with and against the archive, while living in a shared but unevenly precarious present? Through a variety of primary works that unravel the rhetorics of cultural relativism as well as Enlightenment models of progress, we are interested in proposals that stem from Global South ecologies and readings of uneven scales of precarity. Broadly, we invite comparative engagement with archives and their instabilities that gesture towards the planetary. Proposals that dialogue or diverge from ongoing registers of the planetary such as “weak planet” (Wai Chee Dimock), “networked planet” (Ursula K. Heise), or “planetary modernisms” (Susan Stanford Friedman) are welcome. This seminar bridges environmental humanities methods with Global South archives, but we also welcome expansive engagement with planetarity, ecology, and archival poetics. As such, proposals are invited to take up any of the following:  Material and immaterial archives; archive theory and ecocriticism Climate justice and environmental justice, particularly in the Global South Human and more-than-human intermeshings in the Anthropocene Comparative ecocriticism; ecocritical methodologies  Waste; excess; detritus; plastics Oceanic humanities/Blue humanities  Worlding immigration, diaspora, transnationalisms Decolonial and postcolonial theories of ecology  South-South relations  Indigenous-Settler relations  Science and Technology Studies (STS); posthumanism, feminist and queer ecocriticism Speculative fiction, science fiction genre theory

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