Feb 7 | TELLING THE TRUTH: OBJECTIVITY & JUSTICE

Illustration of the world meltingFeb 7 | 4:00-6:00 PM | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

 

The terms “post-fact”, “post-truth”, and “post-reality” are now being used to label the new era we have entered. We are already seeing the erasure of climate data from servers and websites, and purveyors of the truth, including climate scientists, journalists, and academics are being put on warning. (The Climate Scientists witch-hunt and the Professor Watchlist are just two of many indicators). Data refuge efforts are underway amid concerns that the incoming administration will wage a war on scientific expertise.

At the same time that it is of upmost importance that facts, truth, and reality be asserted to counter the normalization of lies and fake news used to obscure the truth and manipulate the public, there is a large body of scholarship showing the non-innocent and often times harmful use of these terms in ways that collude with the forces of power, including colonialism, racism, militarism, etc.

We are creating this cluster to help us think through these issues during these extraordinary times.

Convened by Karen Barad, our first meeting on Objectivity & Justice provided to be a generative conversation on what the terms ‘fact’, ‘truth’, and ‘reality’ signal to each of us in relations to our own research. Science & Justice invites you to our second meeting Tuesday Feb 7th 4-6pm. Our second meeting will be dedicated forming different task groups while continuing to work together as a research cluster. Come get involved and come learn more about the structuring of our cluster at our meeting. We will begin with a discussion of Ch.13 of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (pp. 460-479). Even if you don’t have time to do the reading you are welcome to join us.

Food provided. Please join us.

 

Feb 1 | Cleo Woelfle-Erskine on Fish Culture

4:00-5:30 PM | SJRC Common Room, Oakes 231

Science & Justice visiting scholar Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Feminist Studies Department will present new work on fish culture – considered broadly as human interventions into fish reproduction – as practiced in indigenous and settler communities in California and the Pacific Northwest. Beginning from archival photographs and texts from the first US salmon hatchery on Winnemem Wintu territory near Mt. Shasta, he traces indigenous roots of western fisheries science and explores how different ethics of human-salmon relation persist in contemporary tribal and settler salmon science.

Fish hatcheries became a central part of western river engineering during the 20th century, based on fisheries scientists’ belief that they could improve on natural fish production by intervening in fishes’ reproductive lives and genetic makeup. Hatcheries were one manifestation of Manifest Destiny, the settler philosophies that asserted settler logics’ and technologies’ superiority over indigenous philosophies and sciences. Eventually, salmon ecologists questioned hatcheries’ efficacy as salmon populations crashed. Yet hatcheries continue to be a powerful site of encounter between scientists, fish technicians, fishers, and the public, where relations between fish, people, and rivers are made and remade. In conversations with key interlocutors in indigenous, queer, transgender, settler colonial, and critical animal studies, Cleo explored three inter-related questions:

  1. How has ecological science been brought inside indigenous ontologies, and transformed through tribal science and fisheries management in the Pacific Northwest?
  2. Where are indigenous theories of relation transforming (non-indigenous) ecological science?
  3. How might queer notions of kinship and more-than-human affective entanglements provide a different challenge to normative logics of control and productivity in contemporary settler salmon recovery projects?

Woelfle-Erskine is an ecologist, hydrologist, writer, and scholar of water, working with mentor Karen Barad to explore queer, transgender, and decolonial possibilities for ecological science. Cleo will join the faculty of the School of Marie and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle as an Assistant Professor of Equity and Environmental Justice.

A small farm in the Andean-Amazonian foothills of Colombia. Photo by Kristina Lyons.

The Anthropology and Environment Society has awarded its Junior Scholar Prize to Kristina Lyons

Congratulations to Science & Justice Professor Kristina Lyons!

Lyons, Assistant Professor of Feminist Science Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz was awarded the 2016 AES Junior Scholar award for the article “Decomposition as Life Politics: Soils, Selva, and Small Farmers under the Gun of the U.S.- Colombia War on Drugs” is published in Cultural Anthropology (Volume 31, Number 1: 55-80) and accompanied in an interview.

The award is given annually to early-career scholars for an exemplary article in the area of environmental anthropology.

Abstract: How is life in a criminalized ecology in the Andean-Amazonian foothills of south- western Colombia? In what way does antinarcotics policy that aims to eradicate la mata que mata (the plant that kills) pursue peace through poison? Relatedly, how do people keep on cultivating a garden, caring for forest, or growing food when at any moment a crop-duster plane may pass overhead, indiscriminately spraying herbicides over entire landscapes? Since 2000, the U.S.–Colombian War on Drugs has relied on the militarized aerial fumigation of coca plants, coupled with alternative development interventions that aim to forcibly eradicate illicit livelihoods. Through ethnographic engagement with small farmers in the frontier department of Putumayo, the gateway to the country’s Amazon and a region that has been the focus of counternarcotic operations, this article explores the different possibilities and foreclosures for life and death that emerge in a tropical forest ecology under military duress. By following farmers, their material practices, and their life philosophies, I trace the ways in which human-soil relations come to potentiate forms of resistance to the violence and criminalization produced by militarized, growth-oriented development. Rather than productivity—one of the central elements of modern capitalist growth— the regenerative capacity of these ecologies relies on organic decay, impermanence, decomposition, and even fragility that complicates modernist bifurcations of living and dying, allowing, I argue, for ecological imaginaries and life processes that do not rely on productivity or growth to strive into existence.

(Image note: A small farm in the Andean-Amazonian foothills of Colombia. Photo by Kristina Lyons.)

Jan 25 | Against Purity

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
4:00-6:00 PM
Engineering 2, Room 599

Science and Justice Visiting Scholar and UCSC alum Alexis Shotwell, Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University, will be in conversation with Jess Neasbitt (History of Consciousness, UCSC) about politics, movements and ethics in her new book Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised TimesAgainst Purity proposes a powerful new conception of social movements as custodians for the past and incubators for liberated futures. Against Purity undertakes an analysis that draws on theories of race, disability, gender, and animal ethics as a foundation for an innovative approach to the politics and ethics of responding to systemic problems.

Jan 24 | TELLING THE TRUTH: OBJECTIVITY & JUSTICE

Illustration of the world meltingTuesday, January 24, 2017
4:00-6:00 PM
SJRC Common Room (Oakes 231)

 

The terms “post-fact”, “post-truth”, and “post-reality” are now being used to label the new era we have entered. We are already seeing the erasure of climate data from servers and websites [1], and purveyors of the truth, including climate scientists, journalists, and academics are being put on warning. (The Climate Scientists witch-hunt [2] and the Professor Watchlist are just two of many indicators). Data refuge efforts are underway [3] amid concerns that the incoming administration will wage a war on scientific expertise [4].

At the same time that it is of upmost importance that facts, truth, and reality be asserted to counter the normalization of lies and fake news used to obscure the truth and manipulate the public, there is a large body of scholarship showing the non-innocent and often times harmful use of these terms in ways that collude with the forces of power, including colonialism, racism, militarism, etc.

We are creating this cluster to help us think through these issues during these extraordinary times.

Convened by Karen Barad, our first meeting is Tuesday Jan 24 4-6pm. This first meeting will focus the question of what these terms (fact, truth, reality) signal to each of us in relationship to our own research. We anticipate that these terms will spark a variety of different associations depending on our fields of study. Please join us.

[1] “DNR purges climate change from web page,” by Lee Bergquist (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Dec. 28, 2016) http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2016/12/28/dnr-purges-climate-change-on-web-page/95929564/

[2] “Trump Transition Ask Energy Dept. Which Employees Work on Climate Change,” by Christopher Dean Hopkins (NPR, Dec 9, 2016)
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/09/505041927/trump-transition-asks-energy-dept-which-employees-work-on-climate-change?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2038

[3] Q&A: Michelle Murphy, the U of T professor who’s racing to preserve climate-change data before Donald Trump takes office,” by Steve Kupferman (Toronto Life, Dec 16, 2016)
http://torontolife.com/city/toronto-politics/qa-michelle-murphy-u-t-professor-whos-racing-preserve-climate-change-data-donald-trump-takes-office/

“Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump,” by Brady Dennis (Washington Post, Dec 13, 2016)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/scientists-are-frantically-copying-u-s-climate-data-fearing-it-might-vanish-under-trump/?tid=sm_fb&utm_term=.401062d00845

“Scientists prepare to fight for their work during ‘the Trumpocene’” by Sarah Kaplan (Washington Post, Dec. 15, 2016)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/12/15/researchers-reckon-with-the-trumpocene-at-the-worlds-largest-earth-science-meeting/?utm_term=.1e2b399fde15

[4] “How Trump Could Wage a War on Scientific Expertise,” by Ed Yong (The Atlantic, Dec 2, 2016)
http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/12/how-trump-could-wage-a-war-on-scientific-expertise/509378/

 

Jan 24 Objectivity Justice Notes

Jan 24 | Wiring Gaia at the Water-Energy Nexus: Indigenous Water Guardians and Decolonizing Water Science

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
11:40-1:15 PM
Rachel Carson College 301 (Sociology)

As emblematized by the ongoing protests at Standing Rock, water is a foundational element—biophysical, epistemological, and spiritual—in Indigenous societies and lifeways. Dr. Karen Bakker discusses how this crucial life source has come under increased threat due to the claimed necessity of extractivist development projects which impact the lives of all relations: human and more-than-human. Joining her in the conversation will be S&J Faculty Affiliates Ben Crow (Professor of Sociology) and Kristina Lyons (Assistant Professor of Feminist Science Studies).

On Monday, January 23 in Humanities 2, room 259 at 4:30PM, Karen and her UCSC colleagues will screen, KONELĪNE: Our Beautiful Land, directed by award-winning filmmaker Nettie Wild. The film just had its U.S. premier at the Palm Springs International Film Festival playing to a sold out house. KONELĪNE: our land beautiful is a sensual, cinematic celebration of northwestern British Columbia, and all the dreamers who move across it. Some hunt on the land. Some mine it. Set deep in the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, KONELĪNE captures beauty and complexity as one of Canada’s vast wildernesses undergoes irrevocable change.

Karen Bakker is Professor, Canada Research Chair, and Director of the Program on Water Governance at the University of British Columbia (www.watergovernance.ca). She is currently the midwife (aka Principal Investigator) to a research collective of Indigenous community members, academics, artists, activists who are striving to decolonize water in both theory and practice (www.decolonizingwater.ca). A Rhodes Scholar with a PhD from Oxford, Karen is trained in both the natural and social sciences. She currently works at the intersection of political economy and political ecology, and publishes on a wide range of environmental issues (water, hydropower, food, energy).

Jan 23 | Film Screening: KONELĪNE: our land beautiful

Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs 2016

konelineTRANSCENDENT… epic spectacle. […]She lets the camera hunt for art in every frame, mining veins of abstract beauty rather than sharp nuggets of political narrative”  Brian D. Johnson, Maclean’s

ASTONISHING, stunningly beautiful. […] Equal parts sigh, song and cry.”  Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

BREATHTAKING, gripping. […] Finds beauty in unexpected places.” David Perri, The Northern Miner

WINNER of the Best Canadian Film of 2016 at the HOT DOCS Intl’ Film Festival, KONELĪNE: our land beautiful brings its sensual and visceral ride to UC Santa Cruz:

Monday, January 23, 2017

Humanities 2, room 259  4:30PM

KONELĪNE Trailer: https://vimeo.com/180675200

Celebrated for using art to seek beauty and complexity where you least expect to find them, KONELĪNE (pronounced Ko-na- lee´-na)  is garnering rave reviews for its fair-minded and cinematically stunning exploration of northwest British Columbia and the extraordinary people who move across that land.  Set deep in the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, KONELĪNE captures an epic canvas of beauty and complexity as one of Canada’s vast wildernesses undergoes irrevocable change.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Nettie Wild, KONELĪNE delights in exploding stereotypes with scenes of breathtaking spectacle. Heidi Gutfrucht, both a big-game hunter and fierce environmentalist, swims her 17 horses across the unforgiving Stikine River. A Tahltan First Nation diamond driller bores deep into the same territory his elders are fighting to protect.  And a white hunter carries a bow and arrow while a Tahltan elder shoots moose with a high-powered rifle.

Cameraman Van Royko won the 2016 Award for Best Documentary Cinematography from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers for KONELĪNE, which is shot and projected in wide screen with surround sound.

KONELĪNE: our land beautiful is a cinematic poem that cuts through the rhetorical roar of our times. It’s turning heads and changing minds. Don’t miss it.  96 mins with conversation to follow.

 

KONELĪNE: our land beautiful is a Canada Wild production, produced in association with Telefilm Canada and the Rogers Group of Funds through the Theatrical Documentary Program; Super Channel; Canal D, a division of Bell Media Inc.; Knowledge Network; The Canada Media Fund; developed in association with The National Film Board and Creative BC; produced with the participation of Rogers Documentary Fund; the Shaw Media/Hot Docs Completion Fund; the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit; and the Province of British Columbia Film Incentive BC.

Jan 13 | Retro Policies and Ongoing Fights: Thinking the Present through HIV Activisms Then and Now

Science and Justice Visiting Scholar and UCSC alum Alexis Shotwell, an Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University joins S&J Faculty Affiliate Debbie Gould (Associate Professor of Sociology) and S&J Assistant Director Kate Weatherford Darling in conversation about HIV/AIDS activisms. Since the 1980s, HIV activists across the U.S. and Canada have deployed diverse survival strategies, tactics, policy demands. In the face of today’s current political challenges—including vast and growing economic inequalities, resurgent racism and homophobia, and retrograde health policy—what can we learn from historical and contemporary HIV activisms?
January 13, 2017 | 11:40-1:15 PM | Rachel Carson College 301 (Sociology)

Jan 9 | The Land Beneath Our Feet

The IHR Research Cluster on Race, Violence, Inequality and the Anthropocene presents

The Land Beneath Our Feet

A film by Sarita Siegel & Gregg Mitman

Followed by a conversation with Gregg Mitman & Donna Haraway

Monday January 9, 2017

5:30-7:30PM

Digital Arts Research Center 108

The Land Beneath Our Feet follows a young Liberian man, uprooted by war, who returns from the USA with never-before-seen footage of Liberia’s past. The uncovered footage is embraced as a national treasure. Depicting a 1926 corporate land grab, it is also an explosive reminder of eroding land rights. In post-conflict Liberia, individuals and communities are pitted against multinational corporations, the government, and each other in life-threatening disputes over land. What can this ghostly footage offer a nation, as it debates radical land reforms that could empower communities to shape a more diverse, stable, and sustainable future?

For more information, visit: http://ihr.ucsc.edu/event/gregg-mitman/

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Humanities Research, Institute of the Arts and Sciences, the Center for Creative Ecologies, the Science and Justice Research Center, and the Center for Emerging Worlds

Juana Alicia, “La Promesa de Loma Prieta” in the Oakes College Mural Room. Photo by Nolan Calisch for the Collective Museum, with permission.

Call for Action: UCSC community reaffirms commitment to shared #UCSCvalues

The UC Santa Cruz community is committed to social justice. It has rich ties among the arts, natural and social sciences, and humanities. Inquiries based on science-and-fact are supported in a robust natural world. This is our mission.

Read and Sign: a message from the UCSC community reaffirming our shared values

During a time when current political developments appear to threaten this shared mission, the UCSC community pledges to reaffirm their commitment to social justice. Read their message to support each other, their students, and mission.

 

Please share the statement. We invite your signature.

Statement Co-initiators:
  • Donna Haraway, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness Dept. Humanities Division, UCSC
  • Karen Barad, Professor, Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness, and Co-director of the Science & Justice Research Center Graduate Training Program, Humanities Division, UCSC
  • Angela Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, Humanities Division, UCSC
  • Beth Shapiro, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, Genomics Institute and Physical and Biological Science Division, UCSC
  • Mark Diekhans, Technical Project Manager, Genomics Institute, Baskin School of Engineering, UCSC
  • John Pearse, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Physical and Biological Sciences Division, UCSC
  • Jenny Reardon, Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of the Science and Justice Research Center, Social Sciences Division, UCSC
  • Rosa-Linda Fregoso, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Latin American and Latino Studies, Social Sciences Division, UCSC
  • Jennifer González, Professor, History of Arts and Visual Culture, Arts Division, UCSC
  • John Weber, Founding Director, Institute of the Arts and Sciences, Arts Division, UCSC,
  • Farnaz Fatemi, Lecturer in Writing, UCSC
  • Zia Isola, Director of the UCSC Genomics Institute Office of Diversity Programs and Co-Director of the UCSC Bridge to Doctorate Program, Baskin School of Engineering
  • Anne Callahan, Human Resources Manager, Humanities Division, Retired, Alumni Association Outstanding Staff Award, 2012, UCSC
  • Andrea Hesse, Academic Divisional Computing Director, Humanities Division, UCSC
  • Kimberly TallBear, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous People, Technoscience, and Environment, University of Alberta. UCSC PhD 2005

(Image Note: Juana Alicia, “La Promesa de Loma Prieta” in the Oakes College Mural Room. Photo by Nolan Calisch for the Collective Museum, with permission.)