Updated talk schedule! Wed Jan 29: Daniel Heath Justice, “Being a Good Relative, Becoming a Good Ancestor: Other-than-Human Kinship and the Decolonial Imperative”

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The Oecologies Speaker Series has an updated talk schedule! The series will continue on Jan 29, 2014 with Daniel Heath Justice’s presentation, “Being a Good Relative, Becoming a Good Ancestor: Other-than-Human Kinship and the Decolonial Imperative.” Dr. Louisa Mackenzie’s talk, “Don’t Panic: The Unknowability of Early Modern Nature,” has been cancelled for the time being, but we hope to reschedule it. (Stay tuned for updates!)

Dr. Justice’s Jan 29th talk will take place from 5-6:30pm in the Coach House at Green College, University of British Columbia, 6201 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver BC V6T 1Z1.

Daniel Heath JusticeSummary: From the nineteenth-century decimation of prairie bison herds and imposition of patriarchal farming techniques to the contemporary decline of coastal fisheries and narrowed concerns of familial obligations, a consistent pattern in Eurowestern political and economic colonialism worldwide has been the targeted suppression of Indigenous kinship relations with the other-than-human. While variously dismissed by colonial agents as “pagan,” “primitive,” or illusory, such expansive familial relations are in fact substantive to and expressive of Indigenous political, ceremonial, and intellectual practices of self-determination and cultural and political distinctiveness. This presentation will consider a few illustrative examples of the other-than-human as a vital concern in Indigenous decolonization and resurgence politics today, while critically engaging the potential consequences of an absence of such considerations in contemporary activism and scholarship.

Speaker information: Daniel Heath Justice is a Colorado-born Canadian citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He is Chair of the First Nations Studies Program and Associate Professor of First Nations Studies and English at UBC on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam people. His work includes Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History, the Indigenous epic fantasy The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles, and the co-edited anthologies Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature and, with James H. Cox, the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature. Current projects include a cultural history of badgers and a study of critical kinship in Indigenous literature.

Oecologies: Inhabiting Premodern Worlds is a new Speaker Series sponsored by Green College that gathers scholars from the humanities living and working along the North American Pacific coast to investigate the idea of “oecology,” an older spelling of the modern concept “ecology.” For event details, abstracts, and speaker information, please visit oecologies.com or view the event poster. Also follow us on Twitter (@Oecologies) and “Like” us on Facebook (facebook.com/oecologies)! If you have other questions about Oecologies, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Vin Nardizzi or the project assistant, Carmel Ohman.

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