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The Arts of Land and Water Defense

Macarena Gómez-Barris, Pratt Institute

November 19, 2019 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 219 Aaron Burr

Program in American Studies

In Indigenous practices, thinking the body and land together has been at the heart of knowledge and relationality. Though the “ontological turn” dispenses with some of the Western assumptions of the body as a singular entity, and the land as merely the object of man’s conquest, it is through specific genealogies of scholarship on race and coloniality, Indigenous feminisms, and black feminisms that we can escape the well-rehearsed trope of “land as body.” Within a comparative hemispheric American studies framework, I consider embodiment and territory at the center of struggles over empire and extractivism that show the unraveling of the binary between embodiment and territories. I also consider submerged perspectives and forms of solidarity by those who refuse the material and symbolic infrastructures of racial and extractive capitalism.

Macarena Gómez-Barris is author of Where Memory Dwells: Culture and State Violence in Chile (University of California Press, 2009), The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives (Duke University Press, 2017), and, most recently, Beyond the Pink Tide: Artistic and Political Undercurrents in the Americas (University of California Press, 2018). She is co-editor of Towards A Sociology of a Trace (University of Minnesota Press, 2010); Las Américas Quarterly, a special issue of American Quarterly (Fall 2014); and the trilingual online journal e-misférica. Her new book project is “At the Sea’s Edge: Extinction Narratives of the Colonial Anthropocene.” Her essays have appeared in Antipode, Social Text, GLQ, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies as well as numerous other venues and art catalogues. She has been a visiting professor at New York University and a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at FLACSO-Quito. She is founder and director of the Global South Center, a transdisciplinary space for experimental research, artistic, and activist praxis. She is also the current chairperson of the Department of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

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