The ecological crisis is the most overwhelming to have ever faced humanity and its consequences permeate every domain of life. This trenchant book examines its relation to Islamophobia as the dominant form of racism today, showing how both share roots in domination, colonialism, and the logics of capitalism. Ghassan Hage proposes that both racism and humanity’s destructive relationship with the environment emanate from the same mode of inhabiting the world: an occupying force imposes its own interest as law, subordinating others for the extraction of value, eradicating or exterminating what gets in the way. In connecting these two issues, Hage gives voice to the claim taking shape in many activist spaces that anti-racist and ecological struggles are intrinsically related. In both, the aim is to move beyond what makes us see otherness, whether human or nonhuman, as something that exists solely to be managed.
Ethnographic Explorations of the Lebanese in the World
Author: Ghassan Hage
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Social Science
Bridging the gap between migration studies and the anthropological tradition, Ghassan Hage illustrates that transnationality and its attendant cultural consequences are not necessarily at odds with classic theory. In The Diasporic Condition, Ghassan Hage engages with the diasporic Lebanese community as a shared lifeworld, defining a common cultural milieu that transcends spatial and temporal distance—a collective mode of being here termed the “diasporic condition.” Encompassing a complicated transnational terrain, Hage’s long-term ethnography takes us from Mehj and Jalleh in Lebanon to Europe, Australia, South America, and North America, analyzing how Lebanese migrants and their families have established themselves in their new homes while remaining socially, economically, and politically related to Lebanon and to each other. At the heart of The Diasporic Condition lies a critical anthropological question: How does the study of a particular sociocultural phenomenon expand our knowledge of modes of existing in the world? As Hage establishes what he terms the “lenticular condition,” he breaks down the boundaries between “us” and “them,” “here” and “there,” showing that this convergent mode of existence increasingly defines everyone’s everyday life.
In eleven sharp essays, the contributors to Decay attend to the processes and experiences of symbolic and material decay in a variety of sociopolitical contexts across the globe. They examine decay in its myriad manifestations--biological, physical, organizational, moral, political, personal, and social--and in its numerous contexts--colonialism and imperialism, governments and the state, racism, the environment, and infrastructure. The volume's topics are wide in scope, ranging from the discourse of social decay in contemporary Australian settler colonialism and the ways infrastructures both create and experience decay to cultural decay in the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war and the relations between individual, institutional, and societal decay in an American high-security prison. By using decay as a problematic and expounding its mechanisms, conditions, and temporalities, the contributors provide nuanced and rigorous means to more fully grapple with the exigencies of the current sociopolitical moment. Contributors. Cameo Dalley, Peter D. Dwyer, Akhil Gupta, Ghassan Hage, Michael Herzfeld, Elise Klein, Bart Klem, Tamara Kohn, Michael Main, Fabio Mattioli, Debra McDougall, Monica Minnegal, Violeta Schubert
"The polis, the philosophical concept according to which there is one complete human form, is to blame for political and ecological crisis. The polis as a philosophical tradition shares the current complex shape of climate change. A certain perfect body figures the denial of matter of the polis. The book presents a philosophy of elemental difference, an affirmation of the singularities of location, movement, living, aging, dying, valuing, in which humans partake. Elemental difference in the polis can be appreciated in the fact that empirical bodily non-identity can be called upon to elevate one group of bodies among the rest. Empirical bodily non-identity is a feature of the original articulation of the polis as a philosophical concept in the work of Aristotle. Sylvia Wynter has argued that the very idea of empirical bodily non-identity begins with the modern science of racial anatomy. She calls this biocentrism. I argue that biocentrism is a feature of the polis, according to which the one complete body was defined by its capacity for disembodied thought. The sciences of racial anatomy are a more explicit commitment to biocentrism, but the ranking of matter with respect to one complete human, a body that is the site of supra-natural thinking, is a practice that has always characterized the polis. In this way, the polis is responsible for both political and ecological hierarchy. It is as responsible for what is euphemistically called climate change as it is for the political hierarchy that constitutes it"--
The connection between racism and environmental quality is increasingly visible. People of color in urban and rural areas are the most likely victims of industrial dumping, toxic landfills, uranium mining, and dangerous waste incinerators. This groundbreaking anthology grows out of the National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit and brings together leading scholars, environmental leaders, and social justice activists of the emerging environmental justice movement.
The Promises and Perils of Geoengineering on the Brink
Author: J.P. Sapinski
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Geoengineering is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth's climate system in an attempt to mitigate the adverse effects of global warming. Now that climate emergency is upon us, claims that geoengineering is inevitable are rapidly proliferating. How did we get into this situation where the most extreme path now seems a plausible development? Is it an accurate representation of where we are at? Who is this “we” who is talking? What options make it onto the table? Which are left out? Whom does geoengineering serve? Why is the ensemble of projects that goes by that name so salient, even though the community of researchers and advocates is remarkably small? These are some of the questions that the thinkers contributing to this volume are exploring from perspectives ranging from sociology and geography to ethics and Indigenous studies. The editors set out this diverse collection of voices not as a monolithic, unified take on geoengineering, but as a place where creative thinkers, students, and interested environmental and social justice advocates can explore nuanced ideas in more than 240 characters.
The untold history of how people came to conceive, to manage, and to dispute environmental crisis, The Environment is essential reading for anyone who wants to help protect the environment from the numerous threats it faces today.
Queer Environmental Threats and Racialized Reproduction Anxieties
Author: Logan Natalie O'Laughlin
This dissertation interrogates contemporary anxieties about environmental toxins and their effects on sex, sexual development, and reproduction in North America. For instance, recent toxicology reports suggest that commonly-used pesticides can cause frogs to develop intersex traits and enact same-sex mating behaviors. Many concerned consumers and residents have described the environmental issues as threats to hetero-nuclear families in their public fears of what might be to come: being infertile, queer, intersex, and/or transgender. Feminist science studies, queer studies, and environmental studies have responded to these anxieties by examining how Western sociocultural myths of queerness as "unnatural" surface most saliently in moments of environmental threat. What remains penumbral in the critiques at the intersection of these fields, however, is how race and species operate in the articulation of these environmental threats. My work intervenes by arguing these toxicity panics are pernicious not only because they make normative judgments about sex, gender, and sexuality but also because they rely on logics of racism and dehumanization. The seemingly innocuous toxin-exposed animal figures are the Trojan Horses that allow these multiply-marginalizing ideologies to circulate. In this dissertation, I argue that animal figures play a crucial role in these environmental anxieties. Human interactions with environmental toxins - what I call "toxic encounters" - leave traces in the form of toxin-exposed animal figures that shape how humans conceptualize environmental disaster and protection. I assert that exposed nonhuman animals act as discursive ambassadors for the longevity of white, heterosexual human families in three scandals: (1) scientific reports of pesticides causing frogs to develop intersex traits; (2) media responses to the 2010 BP oil spill that disproportionately focus on the reproduction of oiled pelicans; and (3) farmers' anxieties about feral pigs overpopulating North Carolina and bringing illness to their family farms. When culturally-significant animals such as pelicans and frogs in the U.S. are exposed to toxins, researchers and activists use them to warn of "future" environmental harm against white human families. In so doing, they often obscure how these toxins enact ongoing and historical reproductive violence against queer people, communities of color, and queer people of color. I argue that each of the toxic scandals in question must be understood as more than just interfaces in the present moment. By forwarding a multitemporal critical discourse analysis method, this dissertation examines what sitting with ghosts of the figures of frogs, pelicans, and pigs might accomplish. In so doing, I trace how historical and ongoing violence of chattel slavery and colonialism haunts the present in these toxic animal figures. I thus supplement my feminist critical discourse analysis with environmental historical analysis of colonialism's effects on the North American landscape as well as analysis of how certain animals have come to be valuable in U.S. culture. I also critically analyze scientific literature about environmental toxins in order to understand how each has animal figure been understood as abject in the first place. This research strengthens the complicated links among queer theory, environmental studies, feminist science studies, and critical race theories by tracing how environmental normativity is articulated through biopolitical taxonomies of Human in these animal figures. And it intervenes in the tensions within critical animal studies between the real and the figurative to recognize that the entanglements are where the toxins often reside. As a feminist project, this work explicates how animal figures animate harmful environmental discourses in order to ultimately disrupt them.
The question of free speech is never far from the headlines and frequently declared to be in crisis. Starting from the observation that such debates so often focus on what can and cannot be said in relation to race, Gavan Titley asks why racism has become so central to intense disputes about the status and remit of freedom of speech. Is Free Speech Racist? moves away from recurring debates about the limits of speech to instead examine how the principle of free speech is marshalled in today’s multicultural and intensively mediated societies. This involves tracing the ways in which free speech has been mobilized in far-right politics, in the recycling of ‘race realism’ and other discredited forms of knowledge, and in the politics of immigration and integration. Where there is intense political contestation and public confusion as to what constitutes racism and who gets to define it, ‘free speech’ has been adopted as a primary mechanism for amplifying and re-animating racist ideas and racializing claims. As such, contemporary free speech discourse reveals much about the ongoing life of race and racism in contemporary society.
New media have radically altered our understanding of racism, so that an issue that has too often been assumed to belong to the past has been thrust into the contemporary mainstream. In light of the clear impact of both traditional and new media on Brexit in the UK and the Trump Presidency in the US, it is imperative for students of media and public discourse to examine the role played by the media in the generation, circulation and contestation of racist ideas. In Racism and Media, Gavan Titley: Explains why racism is such a complex and contested concept Provides a set of theoretical and analytical tools with which to interrogate the empirical world of racism and media Demonstrates methods’ application through a wide range of case studies, taking in examples from the UK, US, Europe and Australia Examines the rise and impact of online and social media racism Invites readers to confront tensions in their own experiences of racism and media This book is an essential companion for students of media, communications, sociology and cultural studies.
Every arena of science has its own flash-point issues—chemistry and poison gas, physics and the atom bomb—and genetics has had a troubled history with race. As Jonathan Marks reveals, this dangerous relationship rumbles on to this day, still leaving plenty of leeway for a belief in the basic natural inequality of races. The eugenic science of the early twentieth century and the commodified genomic science of today are unified by the mistaken belief that human races are naturalistic categories. Yet their boundaries are founded neither in biology nor in genetics and, not being a formal scientific concept, race is largely not accessible to the scientist. As Marks argues, race can only be grasped through the humanities: historically, experientially, politically. This wise, witty essay explores the persistence and legacy of scientific racism, which misappropriates the authority of science and undermines it by converting it into a social weapon.
Brings political geography to life—explores key concepts, critical debates, and contemporary research in the field. Political geography is the study of how power struggles both shape and are shaped by the places in which they occur—the spatial nature of political power. Political Geography: A Critical Introduction helps students understand how power is related to space, place, and territory, illustrating how everyday life and the world of global conflict and nation-states are inextricably intertwined. This timely, engaging textbook weaves critical, postcolonial, and feminist narratives throughout its exploration of key concepts in the discipline. Accessible to students new to the field, this text offers critical approaches to political geography—including questions of gender, sexuality, race, and difference—and explains central political concepts such as citizenship, security, and territory in a geographic context. Case studies incorporate methodologies that illustrate how political geographers perform research, enabling students to develop a well-rounded critical approach rather than merely focusing on results. Chapters cover topics including the role of nationalism in shaping allegiances, the spatial aspects of social movements and urban politics, the relationship between international relations and security, the effects of non-human actors in politics, and more. Global in scope, this book: Highlights a diverse range of globally-oriented issues, such as global inequality, that demonstrate the need for critical political geography Demonstrates how critiques of political geography intersect with decolonial, feminist, and queer movements Covers the Eurocentric origins of many of the discipline’s key concepts Integrates advances in political geography theory and firsthand accounts of innovative research from rising scholars in the field Explores both intimate stories from everyday life and abstract concepts central to contemporary political geography Political Geography: A Critical Introduction is an ideal resource for students in political and feminist geography, as well as graduate students and researchers seeking an overview of the discipline.
Wildness was once integral to our ancestor’s lives as they struggled to survive in an unpredictable environment. Today, most of us live in relative stability insulated from the vicissitudes of nature. Wildness is over, right? Wrong, argues leading environmental scholar Paul Wapner. Wildness may have disappeared from our immediate lives, but it’s been catapulted up to the global level. The planet itself has gone into spasm - calving glaciers, wildfires, heatwaves, mass extinction, and rising oceans all represent the new face of wildness. Rejecting paths offered by geoengineering and de-extinction to bring the Earth under control, Wapner calls instead for ‘rewilding’. This involves relinquishing the desire for comfort at all costs and welcoming greater uncertainty into our own lives. To save ourselves from global ruin, it is time to stop sanitizing and exerting mastery over the world and begin living humbly in it.
Borders, Refugees and the Cultural Politics of Belonging
Author: Sivamohan Valluvan
Category: Social Science
This book addresses the centrality of race and racism in consolidating the nationalisms currently prominent in Brexit Britain. Particular attention is given to the issues of refugees, borders and bordering, and the wider forms of nativist and anti- Muslim sentiments that anchor today’s increasingly populist forms of nationalist politics. It is argued that the forms of scapegoating and alarmism integral to the revival of nationalism in British politics are fundamentally tied to racialised processes. Equally however, it is argued that such a political climate is not simply discursive, but also yields acute forms of governance, wherein an increasingly violent attention is given by the state to the border. The chapters in the book do however also attempt to think through the possibilities of a constructive response to this moment. Emphasis is given here to the everyday cultural textures that might help shape a popular opposition to racial nationalism. Similarly, the book attempts to unpack the appeal of today’s distinctive populism in ways that might be more responsive to anti-racist and anti-nationalist sentiments. Racial Nationalisms will be of interest to academics and researchers studying postcolonialism, nationalism, ethnic and racial studies, and to advanced students of sociology, political science and public policy. This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies.
The study of contemporary forms of racism has expanded greatly over the past four decades. Although it has been a focus for scholarship and research for the past three centuries, it is perhaps over this more recent period that we have seen important transformations in the analytical frames and methods to explore the changing patterns of contemporary racisms. The Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Racisms brings together thirty-four original chapters from international experts that address key features of contemporary racisms. The Handbook has a truly global orientation and covers contemporary racisms in both the western and non-western geopolitical environments. In terms of structure, the volume is organized into ten interlinked parts that include Theories and Histories, Contemporary Racisms in Global Perspective, Racism and the State, Racist Movements and Ideologies, Anti-Racisms, Racism and Nationalism, Intersections of Race and Gender, Racism, Culture and Religion, Methods of Studying Contemporary Racisms, and the End of Racism. These parts contain chapters that draw on original theoretical and empirical research to address the evolution and changing forms of contemporary racism. The Handbook is framed by a General Introduction and by short introductions to each part that provide an overview of key themes and concerns. Written in a clear and direct style, and from a conceptual, multidisciplinary and international perspective, the Handbook will provide students, scholars and practitioners with an overview of the most pressing issues of Racisms in our time.
The history of migration is deeply entangled with colonialism. To this day, colonial logics continue to shape the dynamics of migration as well as the responses of states to those arriving at their borders. And yet migration studies has been surprisingly slow to engage with colonial histories in making sense of migratory phenomena today. This book starts from the premise that colonial histories should be central to migration studies and explores what it would mean to really take that seriously. To engage with this task, Lucy Mayblin and Joe Turner argue that scholars need not forge new theories but must learn from and be inspired by the wealth of literature that already exists across the world. Providing a range of inspiring and challenging perspectives on migration, the authors’ aim is to demonstrate what paying attention to colonialism, through using the tools offered by postcolonial, decolonial and related scholarship, can offer those studying international migration today. Offering a vital intervention in the field, this important book asks scholars and students of migration to explore the histories and continuities of colonialism in order to better understand the present.
Memory, Affect and Creativity in Times of Ecological Upheavals
Author: Olivia Angé
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Category: Social Science
Introducing the study of econostalgias through a variety of rich ethnographic cases, this volume argues that a strictly human centered approach does not account for contemporary longings triggered by ecosystem upheavals. In this time of climate change, this book explores how nostalgia for fading ecologies unfolds into the interstitial spaces between the biological, the political and the social, regret and hope, the past, the present and the future.