Professor Jennifer Wenzel: ‘To Begin Everything All Over Again’: Fanon, Resource Sovereignty, and Contrapuntal Environmentalism

We are thrilled to be able to announce the details of our final keynote, by Professor Jennifer Wenzel (Columbia). Professor Wenzel’s talk is entitled “‘To Begin Everything All Over Again’: Fanon, Resource Sovereignty, and Contrapuntal Environmentalism”, and her abstract is below.

“In this talk, I reread Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth with an eye toward his analysis of the role of nature and natural resources in colonialism and anti-colonial national liberation, with particular attention to the concept of resource sovereignty as an important if under-analyzed aspect of postcolonial sovereignty. I propose contrapuntal environmentalism (modeled after Edward Said’s “contrapuntal reading”) as a methodological imperative for postcolonial ecocriticism as it enters its third wave. To be able to reckon with EuroAmerican environmentalist figures, and to understand their myriad, complex relations to the traditions constellated around the environmentalisms of the poor, without anxieties of influence or accusations of derivativeness or belatedness is crucial, I argue, for the future of postcolonial studies in an era of resource wars and climate change.”

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