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Expanding Black and Indigenous Ecologies

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Organizer: Bonnie Etherington

Co-Organizer: F. Delali Kumavie

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This seminar seeks to navigate the intersections of Black and Indigenous ecologies. Colonial epistemologies marginalize Black and Indigenous peoples and their knowledge  in discussions about ecologies: they neglect Black and Indigenous peoples’ disproportionate environmental dispossession and the effects of environmental racism while simultaneously “naturalizing” Black and Indigenous people as closer to the natural environment. Too often relationships between Black and Indigenous ecologies are solely read through reactive or deficit lenses, or primarily in terms of forced colonial and capitalist relations. Geographically, these conversations are also often limited by the frame of the nation-state. This seminar draws on convergences between global Black and Indigenous calls for justice to contribute to ongoing conversations and generate new perspectives about the entanglements between ecologies and environmental inequality in Black and Indigenous contexts. We are particularly interested in creating space for new ways of thinking about the relationships between ecologies, Indigeneity, and Blackness. This seminar aims to trace historical as well as contemporary relationships, and attends to the linkages and disruptions at work in Black and Indigenous ecologies, especially in the midst of climate change which continues to affect those who are least responsible for the planet’s degradation. We seek contributions which make visible entwined liberational histories in Black and Indigenous ecologies, as well as histories of oppression, that may trouble territorial boundaries and expand conceptual relationships. We wish to prioritize perspectives that decenter the US in conversations about Black and Indigenous relationality. Our global lens does not mean that we do not welcome contributors that predominantly focus on the US, but this seminar offers space for scholars to engage in conversations that go beyond US geographic contexts.



Interdisciplinary approaches are very welcome.


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