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Colonial, Racial, Indigenous Ecologies (CRIE)

silos and constructions cranes

The CRIE working group brings together faculty and graduate students working at the conjunction of environment, culture, and critical race and Indigenous studies.

As scholars like Carolyn Finney, Julie Sze, and Rob Nixon have pointed out, environmental activism and scholarship has frequently marginalized the concerns of the Indigenous, colonized, and racialized populations who are often most impacted by environmental change.

In seeking to energize campus conversations and collaborations on topics such as environmental justice, biological imperialism, Indigenous environmental cosmologies, and the racial underpinnings of the Anthropocene, we are inspired by recent work such as Yusoff’s A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, Nishime and Hester-Williams’s Racial Ecologies, and Hoover’s The River is In Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community.

The group’s activities are oriented by an overarching interest in tracing the interconnections between racial capitalism—with its constitutive investments in racialized labor and Indigenous genocide—and environmental change.


Director


Coordinator

  • Sunjay Mathuria

Key Questions

  • How have BIPOC communities responded to the ecological depredations of colonization and capital accumulation?
  • How have colonization and capital accumulation affected environmental Indigenous and migrant epistemologies, cosmologies, and environmental practices?
  • How are apparently “local” instances of environmental justice struggle connected with the apparently “global” scale of the Anthropocene?
  • How can scholarship in the environmental humanities and social sciences contribute to decolonization?
  • What are the environmental imaginations that drive anticolonial, antiracist, and decolonial struggles—and how might these be in tension with each other?

Group Members

  • Jesse Arsenault, English; animal studies, postcolonial literature
  • Rachel Berger, History; medical history and the body
  • Jill Didur, English; postcolonial ecocriticism
  • Katja Grotzner Neves, Anthro/Soc; botanic gardens/biodiversity/Anthropocene
  • Kregg Hetherington, Anthro/Soc; political anthropology and environment
  • Hsuan L. Hsu, race, colonialism, and environmental humanities, UC Davis (formerly English, Concordia)
  • Beenash Jafri, settler colonialism, race, Indigenous studies, UC Davis (formerly Cinema, Concordia)
  • Nalini Mohabir, Geography; feminist/postcolonial migration geographies
  • Stephen Ross, English; ecopoetics/Global modernism
  • Theresa Ventura, History; colonialism, development, agricultural history, McGill University (formerly Religions and Cultures, Concordia)

Activities

  1. The CRIE Working Group is proud to be a co-sponsor of ATMOSPHERES, the CISSC Virtual Happening Lecture series for the Fall term 2020-2021. This 8-part lecture series starts on September 10, 2020. See the CISSC homepage for details.
  2. The working group will double as a reading group which meets on a regular basis to discuss selected readings that foster an interdisciplinary conversation. Please contact the Director if you are interested in participating.
  3. The meetings of the working group will also serve as a forum for discussing first drafts of the papers members are developing as well as project proposals.
  4. The working group will plan to hold a symposium which revolves around a keynote delivered by a visiting scholar.
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