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Conferences & lectures

Sensing Sentient Lands: Detuning Settler Common Sense and Uprooting Colonial Restoration Ecology in an Urban Oak Savannah

by Natasha Myers


Date & time
Friday, November 12, 2021
11 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.


Natasha Myers


This event is free


Centre for Sensory Studies, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture



Blurry image of bare tree in winter against cloudy sky

In this lecture, Natasha Myers, an associate professor of anthropology at York University, will discuss Becoming Sensor, a multimodal research-creation project situated on Dish With One Spoon Lands in Toronto, in solidarity with Indigenous resurgence projects in the city’s oak savannahs.

These are the sites where Indigenous people in this region have been conspiring with the land and with fire to grow nourishing worlds for generations before colonization.

Working at the edges of anthropology, art, ecology, and activism, this project begins from the premise that the colonial restoration ecology projects taking shape on these lands participate actively in Indigenous dispossession. Becoming Sensor experiments with kinesthetic attunements, inventing protocols for an “ungrid-able ecology” responsive to both the sentience of the land, and to the power-moves of colonial land governance, with the aim of detuning settler common sense and activating accomplices in the work of restoring Indigenous leadership to the care of oak savannah lands.

The Sentience lecture series is organized by David Howes, professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Sponsored by the Centre for Sensory Studies and co-sponsored by the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture (CISSC) and two CISSC Working Groups: Colonial, Racial and Indigenous Ecologies (CRIE) and Sensing Atmospheres.

About Natasha Myers

Natasha Myers is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University and director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory. Her current ethnographic projects speculate on the contours of a Planthroposcene, with investigations spanning the arts and sciences of vegetal sensing and sentience, the politics of gardens, and the enduring colonial violence of restoration ecology. In addition to her award-winning book, Rendering Life Molecular (Duke, 2015), recent co-authored and co-edited books include Le Ravissement de Darwin: Le langage des plantes (Éditions la Découverte, 2020), What is Life? (Das Neue Alphabet, Spector Books, 2021) and Reactivating Elements: Ecology, Chemistry, Practice (Duke, 2022). A full list of publications can be found at

This event is part of:

Critical Anthropocene Speaker Series

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