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Indg 2015 week 6 public

  1. 1. Week 6 INDG 2015: Indigenous Ecological Ways of Knowing October 14, 2020 Introduction to Environmental Knowledges in The Caribbean and the TransAtlantic Dr. Zoe Todd Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  2. 2. Class outline The Caribbean - Tiffany Lethabo King The Black Shoals, Introduction - Christina Sharpe In the Wake, Chapter 2 - Sarah Vaughn: Disappearing Mangroves: The Epistemic Politics of Climate Adaptation in Guyana Portfolio overview Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  3. 3. § Today we are covering the violent, traumatic histories of displacement, genocide, and enslavement of African peoples in the western hemisphere, and the concurrent experiences of North American Indigenous displacement and genocide. Some of the material is very heavy, so I want to provide a trigger warning for students with embodied connections to these mass violations through community/historical/ancestral ties Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  4. 4. § Tiffany Lethabo King brings us into deeply rooted and storied work on African diasporic peoples, communities, histories in the Caribbean, the USA, and Canada by examining the concept of The Black Shoals Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  5. 5. What is a shoal? § “In oceanography, geomorphology, and earth sciences, a shoal is a natural submerged ridge, bank, or bar that consists of, or is covered by, sand or other unconsolidated material, and rises from the bed of a body of water to near the surface. Often it refers to those submerged ridges, banks, or bars that rise near enough to the surface of a body of water as to constitute a danger to navigation. Shoals are also known as sandbanks, sandbars, or gravelbars. Two or more shoals that are either separated by shared troughs or interconnected by past or present sedimentary and hydrographic processes are referred to as a shoal complex.[1][2] § The term shoal is also used in a number of ways that can be either similar or quite different from how it is used in the geologic, geomorphic, and oceanographic literature. Sometimes, this term refers to either any relatively shallow place in a stream, lake, sea, or other body of water; a rocky area on the sea floor within an area mapped for navigation purposes; a growth of vegetation on the bottom of a deep lake that occurs at any depth; and as a verb for the process of proceeding from a greater to a lesser depth of water.[2]” Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoal Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  6. 6. The Black Shoals -- King “Shoals in the Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) River, Tibet Autonomous Region, China” https://www.britannica.com/science/shoal/images-videos Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  7. 7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pHpRF oihIE Example of a shoal Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  8. 8. § Why does King invoke the concept of the shoal in this work? § “By titling this book The Black Shoals, I posit that Black thought, Black study, Black aesthetics, and Black expression function as a shoal that interrupts the course and momentum of the flow of critical theories about genocide, slavery, and humanity in the Western Hemisphere. More specifically, the book intervenes in contemporary discourses and theories of colonialism and settler colonialism in North America that dictate how the academy and “the left” talk about (or do not talk about) Indigenous genocide, Indigenous peoples, settlers, arrivants, and Black people.” (King 2019, p. xv) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  9. 9. North America: - 23 countries - 9 dependent territories - Puerto Rico - US Virgin Islands - Bermuda - Greenland - Cayman Islands - Turks and Caicos - British Virgin Islands - Anguilla - Montserrat https://geology.com/world/north-america-satellite-image.shtml https://www.whatarethe7continents.com/north- american-continent/many-countries-north- america/ Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  10. 10. The Caribbean https://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/Caribbean-political-map.htm Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  11. 11. § “Genocide and slavery do not have an edge. While the force of their haunt has distinct feelings at the stress points and instantiations of Black fungibility and Native genocide, the violence moves as one. To perceive this distinct yet edgeless violence and its haunting requires a way of sensing that allows moving in and out of blurred and sharpened vision, acute and dulled senses of smell.” (King 2019: x) Tiffany Lethabo King – the Black Shoals Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  12. 12. Colliding genocides § “Under relations of conquest, Black and Indigenous people made difficult and agonizing choices when it came to negotiating and fighting for their existence. Often when Black and Indigenous people encountered one another their meetings were mediated by the violence of an evolving humanism organized through their captivity and death.5 The terms of survival—or, said another way, the circumstances under which you as a Black or Indigenous person lived—were often tethered to the death of the Other.” (King 2019, p. xi ) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  13. 13. Transatlantic Enslavement § https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lnqhd Nxqmpc&ab_channel=BBCWhat%E2%80% 99sNew%2FActuJeunes Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  14. 14. The Middle Passage: 1440- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_Passage - 9.4 to 12 million enslaved Africans forcibly brought to the New World through the Middle Passage Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  15. 15. The Middle Passage, con’t Trigger warning: graphic depictions of experiences of enslaved people through the Middle Passage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IJrhQE6DZk&ab_ch annel=HISTORY
  16. 16. “What my unnamed ancestors knew of slavery was life and world-altering. They knew of a terror that exceeded the memory and understanding of what we think we know of slavery. I do not believe that genocide and slavery can be contained. Neither has edges, yet each is distinct. Each form of violence has its own way of contaminating, haunting, touching, caressing, and whispering to the other. Their force is particular yet like liquid, as they can spill and seep into the spaces that we carve out as bound off and untouched by the other.” (King, p. x) Tiffany Lethabo King – the Black Shoals Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  17. 17. § Sit with this question that King poses in the text: | “what happens—or needs to happen conceptually—when Black diasporic people, aesthetics, and politics land and encounter Native peoples’ cosmologies and resistance to conquest?” (King 2019, p. 8) • Indigenous peoples and Black communities are often framed as separate groups in Canada and the USA, which can erase Black- Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous peoples • King’s work invites care-full examinations across histories of genocide, enslavement, displacement in/of African nations and the experiences of Indigenous peoples in North America • What does it look like to displace the logics of white supremacy that are at the root of the horrors of colliding white supremacist genocides in Africa, North America and South America? Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  18. 18. § Drawing on the work of Kamau Braithwaite’s tidalectics, King reminds us: | “First, tidalectics confound the binary and dialectical thinking that would separate ocean from land and render Black people and Indigenous people as an antagonism.” -- King, 2019, p. 7 King – The Black Shoals Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  19. 19. Learning questions § Reflect on the history of Indigenous and Black communities where you currently are situated. § How are these relations connected to the lands/waters/atmospheres of place? § What does environmental relationality look like in your current home/place if we acknowledge “genocide and slavery do no have an edge”? (King 2019, x) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  20. 20. § “The Black Shoals arrests settler colonialism’s tendency to resuscitate older liberal humanist modes of thought to create new poststructural and postmodern forms of violent humanisms that feed off Indigenous genocide and Black social death.” (King p. 10) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  21. 21. King The Black Shoals § Settler vs Conquest § Conquistador-settler relationship | “Even if people of color (or non-Black and non- Indigenous) can over time occupy the structural position of the “settler,” then critical social theory needs another name for the position previously held by the white settler. If postcolonial subjects, former “Natives” and racialized others, can become the settler, then the white settler has continued to occupy the structural and ontological position of the conquistador, and should be named as such” (King 2019 xii) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  22. 22. Canada and the Middle Passage § Canada does have a history of enslavement, despite efforts by white settlers to erase this “Enslavement was introduced by French colonists in New France in the early 1600s, and lasted until it was abolished throughout British North America in 1834.”– Natasha Henry https://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/bla ck- enslavement?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhIGB9oS_5QI VRb7ACh25DgpBEAAYASAAEgLf0_D_BwE Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  23. 23. § “Canadian racial discourses prioritize the settler-Indigenous binary and subordinate— erase—the nation’s own history of slavery and anti-Black racism through a Canadian project of multiculturalism that focuses on assimilating (Black) immigrants into its national project.4” (King 2019, 13) Refusing the binaries of white colonizer nation-states Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  24. 24. Learning question § How do we think King’s principle of the Shoals into being across territorial, political, geographic, historical tensions? Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  25. 25. Sharpe In the Wake, Chapter 2 § https://bcrw.barnard.edu/videos/in-the- wake-a-salon-in-honor-of-christina-sharpe/ Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  26. 26. Sharpe, In the Wake, Chapter 2 Sharpe, Chapter 2, p.30 Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  27. 27. Sharpe’s Trans*Atlantic as environmental relationality: § “we might add that the Black and queer Atlantic have always been the Trans*Atlantic.” (p. 30) § “As we hold on to the many meanings of Trans* we can and must think and imagine laterally, across a series of relations in the ship, the hold, the wake, and the weather—in multiple Black everydays”(p. 32) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  28. 28. Sharpe’s Trans*Atlantic as environmental relationality: § “Theorizing wake work requires a turn away from existing disciplinary solutions to blackness’s ongoing abjection that extend the dysgraphia of the wake. It requires theorizing the multiple meanings of that abjection through inhabita-tion, that is, through living them in and as consciousness.” (p. 33) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  29. 29. § Histories of enslavement and the ‘afterlife of slavery’ (Hartman, cited in Sharpe 2016) shape lands/waters/atmospheres – these have been touched upon in today’s class with citations from Kamau Braithwaite, Tiffany Lethabo King, Christina Sharpe. There are many other scholars to draw upon. Important to consider the ways human experiences of genocide, resistance, survival shape place/time/being Mid-class summary Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  30. 30. Vaughn: Disappearing Mangroves This article explores the Guyanese Mangrove Restoration Project (GMRP) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  31. 31. Vaughn, paragraph 2 § "In 2010 the Guyanese government announced the launch of the GMRP. As a response to the threat of sea-level rise, the GMRP looks to mangroves for storm protection. The program is partially funded by the European Union’s Global Climate Change Alliance, which complements UN climate treaties by supporting national-level research about climate adaptation. For engineers more familiar with seawalls than mangroves as defense against the sea, the GMRP entails a particularly broad-based research program into mangrove ecosystems. It focuses on exploring how and why processes of erosion impinge on forests. These research questions have put engineers in unorthodox partnerships with other technoscientific experts, including geoscientists analyzing mudbanks, environmental consultants cultivating trees, and beekeepers developing apiaries. This is not to say that their combined efforts always prove effective—they are, in fact, often thwarted by a variety of things like waves, mud, and debris. In Guyana’s forests, climate adaptation requires expertise that can reconcile humans’ and nonhumans’ entangled and increasingly insecure futures.” Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  32. 32. § Colonization, enslavement, and plantations changed Guyana’s landscapes: § “Beginning in the late seventeenth century, Dutch colonists imported slaves from Africa, while British colonists later brought in more slaves and indentured laborers from India, Portugal, and China to cultivate sugar. Since, flood management has been tied to sugar plantations’ elaborate canal and sea-defense grid.” (Vaughn, paragraph 10) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  33. 33. The importance of paying attention to nonhuman beings § “Alongside engineers, Nicholas was learning to pay attention to things mangroves pay attention to, even if those things challenged his assumptions about inter- and intraspecies living. With shore-walk observations in mind, he began to change his views on mangrove regeneration. He now granted that mangrove regeneration was far more complex than he had initially thought and not primarily dependent on mudbank migration events. In consultation with the engineers, he decided that it was not necessary to refine the SWAN model to move forward with the GMRP. Instead, the participants would focus on forest mapping and tree planting to improve sea defense and their understandings of the shore.” (Vaughn, paragraph 33) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  34. 34. § ”People often think that a mangrove is just a tree . . . but I mean a community of plants growing along the shore—a mangle of forests.” § (Vaughn, paragraph 45) Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  35. 35. § “it is also incumbent on us to consider what constitutes expertise and how this question materializes across a vulnerable planet.” Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  36. 36. W § https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFJXTYckZEg& ab_channel=GCCACommunity “it is also incumbent on us to consider what constitutes expertise and how this question materializes across a vulnerable planet.” (Vaughn, 2017 ) Watch this video with the above quote in mind: how is ‘expertise’ about nonhuman beings (mangroves) produced in climate change mitigation work? Whose voices are centred? Whose voices are excluded? How does this reflect histories in the region? Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020
  37. 37. Portfolio Step 1 – name Step 2 – fill in 10 scholarly sources Step 3 – write your 500 word summary Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020 Rubric has been posted to CuLearn I’ve posted a link to a CuPortfolio template that you can use as a guide
  38. 38. Final reflection question How do King’s concept of The Black Shoals, Sharpe’s concept of the Trans*Atlantic, and Vaughn’s studies of climate change mitigation expertise inform your understandings of environmental relationships? How can you bring trans- continental/trans-regional understandings of human-environmental relations into your current work? Copyright Professor Zoe Todd 2020

Week 6 slides #INDG2015

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