Fisher Center Kicks off Spring 2016 Series – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Fisher Center Kicks off Spring 2016 Series

The 2015-16 speaker series sponsored by the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men continues its examination of the theme “Gender, Climate, and the Anthropocene” on Wednesday, Feb. 24, with Kathryn Yusoff‘s talk “Towards the Idea of a Black Anthropocene.”

Since atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen popularized the term in 2000, the “anthropocene” has become a political marker, designating the epoch in which human actions began to have geologic impact. For 2015-16, the Fisher Center is investigating the gendered dimensions of the Anthropocene; considering where we are geologically as a species; raising up the movements and creative responses crucial to politics in the Anthropocene; and highlighting local activism and mapping the global terrain of the current struggle for climate justice.

A Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London, Yusoff will trace the historiography of Colonial Man to Anthropocene Man in order to frame the “Geology of Mankind” as a privileged subjective space of biopolitical consideration.

Yusoff’s work focuses on political aesthetics, social theory and abrupt environmental change. Her current book addresses questions of “Geologic Life” within the Anthropocene. Drawing on insights from contemporary feminist philosophy, critical human geography, and the earth sciences, she is interested in the opportunities the Anthropocene presents for rethinking the interactions between the earth sciences and human geography.

On Wednesday, March 30, Zoe Todd will deliver the second talk of the spring series, “Indigenizing the Anthropocene: Prairie Indigenous Feminisms and Fish Co-Conspirators.”

Taking the year 1610 as a possible start date of the Anthropocene — as it coincides not only with the movement of species between continents in expanding global trade routes, but also with the genocide of 50 million Indigenous people in the Americas — Todd examines the intertwined experiences of humans and more-than-human beings. She will focus on the experiences of Indigenous peoples in what is today known as Canada, dwelling on the stories and histories of generations of women in her Métis (Indigenous) family and the fish they shared territory with.

Todd (Métis) is from Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) in the Treaty Six Area of Alberta, Canada. She writes about indigeneity, art, architecture, decolonization and healing in urban contexts. She also studies human-animal relations, colonialism and environmental change in northern Canada. She is a lecturer in anthropology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and a Ph.D. candidate in social anthropology at Aberdeen University, Scotland. 

Both talks begin at 7 p.m. in the Fisher Center, Demarest Hall Room 212.

The Fisher Center brings together faculty, students, and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society. Building upon their long-held commitment to interdisciplinary liberal arts education for men and women, both separately and together, Hobart and William Smith Colleges established (in 1998) the Fisher Center to support curricular, programmatic, and scholarly projects which address the question: How do we more nearly realize, through our educational program, scholarship, and presence in the larger community, our democratic ideals of equity, mutual respect, and common interest in relations between men and women?

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