Pre-conference Workshops and Seminars »
Global Indigeneity, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism Seminar
Ecocriticism, Environmental Justice and Global Indigenous Studies Seminar
This seminar is designed to examine indigeneity from a variety of global perspectives as they relate to representations of environmental justice issues. We will consider multiple conceptions of indigeneity from the Americas to Oceania, and throughout the world. Among the issues we will consider are definitions and constructions of indigenous identifications, and legal and diplomatic recognitions of indigenous populations. We will also consider representations of ecological relationships from indigenous perspectives, paying attention to the ways that new approaches to materiality, such as "posthumanist performativity" and "the ethical space of nature," offer insights into how indigenous peoples articulate notions about human/nonhuman relationship. We will have some readings in common with Kimberly Ruffin's seminar, "Human Natures: Approaches to Teaching EcoLiterature and Human Groups," so that participants in both seminars will be able to take conversations started during each seminar with them as they interact with participants in the other seminar over the course of the conference.
Sample Questions for position papers and discussion
- How do indigenous populations define themselves and in what ways do those indigenous populations and individuals define relationships to space and place?
- What commonalities exist across global indigenous populations in regard to ecological relationships?
- How do issues of indigenous TEK (traditional ecological knowledge) enhance and/or challenge European/American scientific methods and ideologies?
- Joni Adamson, “A Place to See: Self-Representation and Resistance in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead,” in American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice, and Ecocriticism by Joni Adamson
- Stacy Alaimo, "Trans-corporeal Feminisms and the Ethical Space of Nature" in Material Feminisms, Eds. Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman
- Chadwick Allen, Blood Narrative: Indigenous Identity in American Indian and Maori Literary and Activist Texts. Conclusion “Declaring a Fourth World.”
- Karen Barad, "Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter come to Matter" in Material Feminisms, Eds. Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman
- Deane Curtin Environmental Ethics for a Postcolonial World, Chapter 1: “One World Under God.”
- The Indigenous Environmental Network webpage
- Laura Westra, Environmental Justice and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: International and Domestic Legal Perspectives. Part 1.
- “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. Available online.
- Giovanna Di Chiro “Indigenous Peoples and Biocolonialism: Defining the ‘Science of Environmental Justice’ in the Century of the Gene.” Environmental Justice and Environmentalism: The Social Justice Challenge to the Environmental Movement. Ronald Sandler and Phaedra C. Pezzullo, eds.
- “Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.” World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. Available online.
Joni Adamson is an associate professor of American Literature and Environmental Humanities in the School of Letters and Sciences, and affiliated faculty in the School of Sustainability, at Arizona State University. She is the author of American Indian Literature, Environmental Justice and Ecocriticism and co-editor of The Environmental Justice Reader. Her articles have appeared in A Companion to American Literature and Culture, Teaching North American Environmental Literature, Globalization on the Line, among others. She is currently at work on a manuscript, entitled “mother/mater/matrix: How the Humanities Power our Fight for the Environment,” which examines how texts ranging from Crèvecœur’s Letters from an American Farmer to Linda Hogan’s People of the Whale, to the Wachowski Brothers’ Matrix re-imagine community, justice, and eco-global health.
John Gamber, is an assistant professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University. He has co-edited Transnational Asian American Literature: Sites and Transits, and published articles about the novels of Gerald Vizenor (Anishinaabe), Louis Owens (Choctaw/Cherokee), and Craig Womack (Creek) among others in several edited collections and journals including PMLA and MELUS. His current book project, entitled Positive Pollutions and Cultural Toxins (forthcoming University of Nebraska Press) examines the role of waste and contamination in late-twentieth century U.S. ethnic literatures.
To pre-register for this workshop, please contact Greta Gaard: greta.gaard uwrf.edu. A fee will be due at regular registration, price is TBD but in the $15-20 range.