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Politics and Extr/a/ctivism (Fall 2019) 

This quarter we will extend our discussions on urban ecologies and infrastructure to incorporate a reflection on the ways in which ecological thinking and practice, historical and contemporaneous, are articulated as politics, particularly in contexts of extraction. We propose to workshop: (1) Histories of capitalist extraction and land struggle (2) the translation and mobilization of “culture” and “earth beings” as “nature” and ecological questions in indigenous discourses and practice (3) the use of these translations as political devices. We will center our discussions around infrastructures of energy production, historical and contemporary, as well as corridors of resource extraction and distribution. This quarter’s readings and conversations will help to prepare for the International Institute Fossil Fuel Authoritarianism Conference.

Urban Ecologies and Infrastructures (Winter 2020) 

This quarter we will gather around three main questions: (1) Histories of ecological thinking; (2) How ecological thinking has excluded/ included urban settings? (3) What is the role of infrastructure development in this neglect/recognition? (4) What are the meanings and stakes of an urban ecological framework in the Anthropocene/Capitalocene? Some of the empirical areas through which we will look at these questions are: water infrastructures, coastal urbanism, island geographies, carceral ecologies.

Scientific & Technological Utopias (Spring 2020)

This quarter we will focus on the role that science and technology have in fostering and/or short-circuiting utopias and dystopias, and hence, in their role articulating possibilities for stepping towards a world otherwise. Building on climate change discussions, eco-socialist alternatives and surveillance capitalism we ask: How does expert knowledge production on nature (as climate) preclude or open conversations about the future? How do experts engage everyday utopianism and dystopianism in their calculations? What do these calculations (about the weather) do to other ways of understanding and living in nature? What are the proposed techno-fixes to urban catastrophes? And what are the alternatives?