Culture@Large on November 18th from 12:30-2:00 pm (TMCC 718A)
Speaker: M. Murphy, Professor and Canada Research Chair, History and Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto
Organizer: Miriam Ticktin (CUNY Graduate Center)
Discussants: Stefanie Graeter (U of Arizona) and Anand Pandian (Johns Hopkins)
“What if the Objects We Care about are Wrong? After Pessimism in Anticolonial Environmental Justice on the Great Lakes”
Abstract: As fossil fuel capitalism continues to thrive, university research continues to reproduce the epistemic and affective conditions that make up ongoing colonial environmental violence. What if many of the objects and concepts inherited from the university—from chemicals to the planet—work against practices of justice. These questions touch down fiercely in Toronto, which has one of the world’s largest concentrations of mining company headquarters, is proximate to one of the world’s oldest commercial oil fields where fossil fuel capitalism began, and is next to the “gold spike” of the Anthropocene. What to do with the uneven burden of grief and anger that is forced to be proximate to the hype and denial of colonial capitalist exuberance? Following from Fanon’s example of “inserting invention into existence,” this talk learns with Metis, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee land-body relations to offer a desire-based and after-pessimism understanding of the object of chemical pollution towards the horizon of anti-colonial justice on the Great Lakes and beyond.