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On November 17, join us for critical conversation about climate, culture, and colonialism.
On November 17 at 9am CST, join Deceleration and Environmental Humanities at UTSA in a co-sponsored virtual keynote panel on environmental justice and de/coloniality. What’s that, you ask?
As explained by panel organizer Kenny Walker, UTSA professor of English (and Deceleration community advisor):
“‘Coloniality’ is thinking about the everyday legacies of colonial contact from the 15th century to now. People might not know the theories behind it, but [they] live it on an everyday basis.
“Decolonial possibilities really come about from living that experience. From living with colonial wounds. Which … as [a] white settler scholar … is not necessarily something I can embody or take on. It has to be done from a different experience. But I see that slash between the ‘de’ and ‘coloniality’ as the space of engagement. That is the borderlands where we negotiate. That is the space where the conversation happens.
“Environmental justice and decoloniality are linked because ‘decoloniality’ helps us historicize everyday struggles of environmental justice that have been ongoing. So I think those two are very very linked, especially in a place like SA– deeply linked, and felt, and experienced every single day. And the more we learn our history, the more we can prepare for our futures. The more we learn our lessons from the struggles that have gone on before us, the more we can do the necessary political work of today.”
Walker will open the panel with a discussion of his soon-to-drop book Climate Politics on the Border, which explores a century of political and cultural negotiation over extreme weather events in San Antonio, “with an eye toward a future characterized by severe climate breakdown.” Poet and UTSA doctoral student Carolina Hinojosa will then moderate a panel that includes
- Priscilla Solis Ybarra, a leading scholar of Chicanx environmentalisms, on how we can create climate justice by being more accountable to our ancestors, descendants, and communities, including the flora, fauna, earth, and sky;
- Anushka Peres, scholar-activist and photographer, on the queer environmental politics of visual culture;
- Jonathan Martinez on citizenship and cyborgs in the Latinx dystopian novel Ink; and
- Deceleration co-editor Marisol Cortez on why our thinking and activism around climate needs to move beyond the idea of “crisis.”
Why should folks doing on-the-ground work around climate and environmental justice come to a panel of people nerding out at the intersections of science, culture, politics, and literature?
Here’s Walker again:
“I’m always interested in building spaces of conversation between community work and academic work. And that is fraught, and it’s difficult to do, because the power dynamics are so different. … But I think one of the things academia provides is that sort of step-back reflective moment, where we can think on the broader, historical terms that help provide an explanation or framework for understanding the everyday struggles of doing environmental justice.
“So [this panel is] a conversation that bridges the everyday fight with the longer fight, the bigger picture. And I see that as a really productive way to talk about environmental justice, to theorize environmental justice, so that we can practice even better, and better together. I think it builds better politics, basically, is the short version.”
“Environmental Justice and De/Coloniality” kicks off a day of talks organized by the Association for Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine (ARSTM)—a group of scholars interested in the intersections of science, culture, and justice—prior to NCA 2021, a larger annual gathering of communication scholars. All ARSTM panels are free for community members, so come for ours and stay for the rest!
To view, tune in HERE on Wednesday, November 17 at 9am CST.
Zoom info is here, should you need it:
Meeting ID: 964 7638 8801