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Flooding in the Kickapoo River Valley, August 2018. Photo by Emma Lundberg.

Environmental Justice in multispecies worlds: Land, Water, Food

March 6-8, 2020

University of Wisconsin–Madison


an interdisciplinary graduate student conference hosted by the Center for Culture, History, and Environment

We invite participants for an interdisciplinary graduate student conference to be held March 6-8, 2020, on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, which occupies ancestral Ho-Chunk land. This conference emerges from a multi-year conversation across departments at UW-Madison concerned with meanings of social and environmental justice in what Marisol de la Cadena and Mario Blaser have called a “world of many worlds.” Inspired by work on Indigenous cosmopolitics, multispecies ethics, feminist and postcolonial studies, and racial capitalism, we seek to understand the following questions: 

  • How have histories of colonial and capitalist exploitation shaped contemporary configurations among humans and other beings?

  • How do class, racial, ethnic, gender, and other politics shape multispecies encounters?

  • How can recognizing multiple forms of life reframe techno-scientific management?

  • What might constitute environmental justice in the pluriverse?

  • How might attention to Indigenous cosmologies and multispecies ethics redefine the politics and structures of environmental justice?

  • Is justice an apt framework for engaging relationships among humans and other-than-humans? 

We invite participants to join and extend this conversation, bringing methodologies and perspectives from across the humanities and social and natural sciences to explore key themes of climate justice, settler colonialism, decolonization, racial capitalism, sovereignty, food justice, democracy, rights, more-than-human worlds, among others.


Featured Image: Flooding in the Kickapoo River Valley, August 2018. Photo by Emma Lundberg.

Below: A local activist and tour guide demonstrates the "mano sucia" (dirty hand) of Chevron-Texaco in the Ecuadorian Amazon, where decades of oil drilling left behind contaminated water and soil, such as that in this stream on a small farm across the road from a pump. Photo by Elizabeth Hennessy.