Skip to main content

Past Events

The 11th Archipelago Lecture, November 10, 2022:

Rob Nixon

The Less Selfish Gene: Forest Altruism, Neoliberalism, and the Tree of Life



Why have millions of readers and viewers become magnetized by the hitherto arcane field of plant communication? Since the great recession of 2008, we have witnessed an upsurge in public science writing that has popularized research into forest sentience, forest suffering and the forest as collective intelligence.  

This talk roots the current appeal of forest communication in a widespread discontent with neoliberalism’s antipathy to cooperative ways of being. Nixon argues that the science of forest dynamics offers a counter-narrative of flourishing, an allegory for what George Monbiot has called “private sufficiency and public wealth.

About Rob Nixon

Rob Nixon is the Barron Family Professor in Environment and Humanities at Princeton University. His books include, most recently, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Nixon is currently completing a book entitled Blood at the Root. Environmental Martyrs and the Defense of Life.

Nixon writes frequently for the New York Times. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, The Nation, London Review of Books, The Village Voice, Aeon, Orion, Critical Inquiry and elsewhere.

Environmental justice struggles in the global South are central to Nixon’s work. He is a particularly fascinated by the animating role that artists can play in relation to social movements.


The 10th Archipelago Lecture:

Kathryn Yusoff

Colonial Earths & the Inhumanities  

December 1, 2021, 16.30 CET, online

Kathryn Yusoff is Professor of Inhuman Geography in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London. Her research examines how inhuman and nonorganic materialities have consequences for how we understand issues of environmental change, race, and subjectivity. She is the author of A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None(University of Minnesota Press, 2018), a SI on Geosocial Formations and the Anthropocene (with Nigel Clark) in Theory Culture and Society, Epochal Aesthetics in E-flux, and The Inhumanities in The Annals of American Geographers. Her forthcoming book, Geologic Life: Inhuman Intimacies and the Geophysics of Race addresses the histories of geology and the gravities of race.


This talk starts with the simple recognition that colonialism (and its kin, climate change) is an ongoing process of breaking ground and broken earths. Colonialism instigated extractivism and the massive disruption of earthly matter through epistemic detachment (or ‘White geology’) and its ontologies of rupture. These broken earths are an anticipatory and affective architecture of the ongoing sedimentations of colonialism that structure racial capitalism. By recognizing these colonial afterlives as forms of geotrauma—a trauma that is specifically concerned with the geos through displacement and desecration—it is possible to situate race within acts of desecration that require geographic re-description. Kathryn Yusoff argues that understanding the Environmental Humanities alongside its colonial twin—the Inhumanities—is crucial to remaking broken worlds.

The 9th Stockholm Archipelago Lecture:

Achille Mbembe

Reflections on Planetary Habitability

25 November 2020

We proudly present Prof. Achille Mbembe for this years Archipelago Lecture. Achille is a professor in History and Politics, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. A member of the United States Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is the author of numerous books, including ON THE POSTCOLONY (2010), CRITIQUE OF BLACK REASON (2017), and NECROPOLITICS (2020). His books have been translated in many languages.

The complete talk is available on Facebook

Past lectures:

Noel Castree

2 November 2015

Laura Pulido

9 October 2014

Kirsten Hastrup

The Meltdown of a High Arctic Hunting Community

11 September 2013

Accessability note: the pictures from most past events contains text, by entering the links for each event you will be able to read this text. If a link is broken or if you have other questions on accessability and the events, please send an email to:  

Belongs to: KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory
Last changed: Oct 23, 2023