Kim TallBear (University of Alberta): "Biopolitics and Beyond: New Directions in Indigenous Studies"

Friday, February 2, 2018 16:30to18:30

From climate change, to pipeline protests and environmental justice movements, to conceptualizations of kinship with living and non-living beings, emerging scholarship from Indigenous Studies is broadening visions of how to live in the twenty-first century. 

This keynote lecture and panel discussion features scholars whose work is pushing the boundaries of science and technology studies through questions such as, how have the biopolitics of settler societies foreclosed possible conceptions of family, health, and environmental resilience? How do Indigenous understandings of human-animal relations and human-land relations challenge existing systems of governance? And how are science and technology being used to limit or strengthen Native sovereignty under twenty-first century multiculturalism?

Professor Kim TallBear's lecture, specifically, will examine the caretaking of relations embodied in recent social movements led by women, two-spirit, and queer people: #IdleNoMore, #NoDAPL, and #BlackLivesMatter. In this moment of crisis—new to some but ongoing for many—is an opportunity to unsettle the American Dream. Turning our redemptive attention away from empire to focus on caretaking relations, including other-than-human kin, the land, and water, defies a foundational settler-colonial narrative—the nature/culture binary that puts humans atop a hierarchy of life. This talk proposes instead another productive script.

To be followed by a round table discussion with Jennifer Brown (Pacific Lutheran University), Rico Kleinstein Chenyek (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Kirsten Simmons (University of Chicago).

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