Students in plaza

Assembling Common Worlds - Keynote Address: Affrica Taylor

Jun
11
When: Saturday, Jun 11, 2022, 3:30PM - 5:00PM
Attendance: Mixed Online and In-Person
Building: Malaspina Theatre
Vancouver Island University
900 Fifth Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5

Add to CalendarAssembling Common Worlds - Keynote Address: Affrica Taylor06/11/2022 03:30 PM06/11/2022 05:00 PMMM/DD/YYYYAmerica/VancouverRoos and Rabbits: Responding to Extinctions on Settler Colonized Lands The current unprecedented rates of extinction on settler colonized lands have been precipitated by invasive and extractive colonialist mindsets and practices. These extinctions matter profoundly for First Nations people who understand that all life comes from the Land, that plants and animals are our kin, and that we cannot live without them. They also matter for young people who inherit a world in the throes of catastrophic biodiversity loss and the spiraling collapse of the ecosystems that sustain our lives. They matter for all of us living on colonized lands because we are all implicated. This dire situation calls us to respond. In this presentation I reflect upon the question of how we might respond to the reality of mass species extinctions without inadvertently rehearsing new kinds of colonialist mindsets. To do this, I first trace the historical trajectory of Australian eco-nationalist narratives that target young settler Australians, and position them as environmental stewards and protectors of native flora and fauna. I look at Dot and the Kangaroo, an endearing early 20th century Australian children’s literature classic, which began the process of entreating the children of the newly proclaimed nation to identify with and care for native animals. I then fast forward to The Rabbits, a confronting end of 20th century dystopian animal allegory, and a paradoxical eco-nationalist narrative with an explicit anti-colonialist agenda. I reflect upon the potential for eco-nationalist narratives, even those that foreground the connection between settler colonialism and ecological destruction, to unintentionally reinscribe new forms of colonialism. I then consider how moves towards common worlding settler colonized lands might avoid the traps of eco-nationalism and the conceits of white stewardship. I argue that reorientating towards a more-than-human collective mode of worlding, or of recomposing damaged life-worlds together (Haraway 2016), enables us to envisage and tell otherwise, recuperative stories. Haraway, D. (2016) Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Marsden, J. (1998) The Rabbits. Illustrator S.Tan. Sydney: Lothian. Pedley, E.C. ([1899] 2013) Dot and the Kangaroo. Illustrator F.P. Hahoney. Milton Keynes: Dodo Press. Bio Affrica Taylor is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Canberra. She has background in Indigenous Australian education and a PhD in cultural geography. Both have shaped her abiding interest in the relations between people, place and other species on damaged settler colonized lands and in the need to decolonise these relations in ecologically challenging times. She explores these relations in numerous publications, including: Reconfiguring the Natures of Childhood; Unsettling the Colonial Places and Spaces of Early Childhood Education (with Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw); and The Common Worlds of Children and Animals: Relational Ethics for Entangled Lives (also with Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw) Attendance for keynote addresses is free, in person or virtual. Register to attend an address here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/assembling-common-worlds-keynote-presentations-tickets-354708140597 If you have any questions or concerns regarding the conference please contact: Terri Doughty: Terri.Doughty@viu.ca or Janet Grafton: Janet.Grafton@viu.ca \n\nhttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/assembling-common-worlds-keynote-presentations-tickets-354708140597\nNanaimo Campus Building Malaspina Theatre \nVancouver Island University\n900 Fifth Street\nNanaimo BC V9R 5S5\n\nhttps://events.viu.ca/assembling-common-worlds-keynote-address-affrica-taylorhttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/assembling-common-worlds-keynote-presentations-tickets-354708140597falseaYqCFcQpUzxLBYhTummH26494

Roos and Rabbits: Responding to Extinctions on Settler Colonized Lands

The current unprecedented rates of extinction on settler colonized lands have been precipitated by invasive and extractive colonialist mindsets and practices. These extinctions matter profoundly for First Nations people who understand that all life comes from the Land, that plants and animals are our kin, and that we cannot live without them. They also matter for young people who inherit a world in the throes of catastrophic biodiversity loss and the spiraling collapse of the ecosystems that sustain our lives. They matter for all of us living on colonized lands because we are all implicated. This dire situation calls us to respond. In this presentation I reflect upon the question of how we might respond to the reality of mass species extinctions without inadvertently rehearsing new kinds of colonialist mindsets.

To do this, I first trace the historical trajectory of Australian eco-nationalist narratives that target young settler Australians, and position them as environmental stewards and protectors of native flora and fauna. I look at Dot and the Kangaroo, an endearing early 20th century Australian children’s literature classic, which began the process of entreating the children of the newly proclaimed nation to identify with and care for native animals. I then fast forward to The Rabbits, a confronting end of 20th century dystopian animal allegory, and a paradoxical eco-nationalist narrative with an explicit anti-colonialist agenda. I reflect upon the potential for eco-nationalist narratives, even those that foreground the connection between settler colonialism and ecological destruction, to unintentionally reinscribe new forms of colonialism.

I then consider how moves towards common worlding settler colonized lands might avoid the traps of eco-nationalism and the conceits of white stewardship. I argue that reorientating towards a more-than-human collective mode of worlding, or of recomposing damaged life-worlds together (Haraway 2016), enables us to envisage and tell otherwise, recuperative stories.

Haraway, D. (2016) Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Marsden, J. (1998) The Rabbits. Illustrator S.Tan. Sydney: Lothian.

Pedley, E.C. ([1899] 2013) Dot and the Kangaroo. Illustrator F.P. Hahoney. Milton Keynes: Dodo Press.

Bio

Affrica Taylor is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Canberra. She has background in Indigenous Australian education and a PhD in cultural geography. Both have shaped her abiding interest in the relations between people, place and other species on damaged settler colonized lands and in the need to decolonise these relations in ecologically challenging times. She explores these relations in numerous publications, including: Reconfiguring the Natures of Childhood; Unsettling the Colonial Places and Spaces of Early Childhood Education (with Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw); and The Common Worlds of Children and Animals: Relational Ethics for Entangled Lives (also with Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw)

Attendance for keynote addresses is free, in person or virtual.
Register to attend an address here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/assembling-common-worlds-keynote-presentations-tickets-354708140597

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the conference please contact:

Terri Doughty: Terri.Doughty@viu.ca

or

Janet Grafton: Janet.Grafton@viu.ca

Event Organizer:
Terri Doughty