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Archipelago Lecture: Colonial Earths & the Inhumanities

We are happy to announce Kathryn Yusoff, professor of Inhuman Geography
at Queen Mary University of London, as keynote for our 10th Stockholm Archipelago Lecture. The Stockholm Archipelago Lectures are part of the public activities of the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory. The series was initiated in 2012.

Time: Wed 2021-12-01 16.30

Location: Zoom

Language: English

Participating: Kathryn Yusoff

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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.

See the lecture here!