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.

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

Nov 16 | The ‘Public Good’ of Genomics

The Science and Justice Research Center will host Steve Sturdy, Professor of the Sociology of Medical Knowledge at the University of Edinburgh, in a Working Group event that explores the question of the ‘public good,’ and how it has been thought of and variously understood within the field of genomics.

Lindsey Dillon, Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz and Gretchen Gano, Associate Director of Research for the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society at UC Berkeley will serve as discussants.

November 16, 2016 | 4:00-6:00pm | Engineering 2 room 599

Nov 09 | Cocktail Hour: Food Security and the Data Deluge

4:00-5:30pm | SJRC Common Room (Oakes 231)

The Science and Justice Research Center will host Madeleine Fairbairn, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California – Santa Cruz, and Zenia Kish, Teaching Fellow at Stanford University in a Cocktail Hour discussion.

Madeleine and Zenia will discuss their preliminary research into how the “data revolution” is reshaping efforts to address international food security on the part of development organizations, governments, and agribusinesses. As private global actors increasingly gather environmental and farmer-produced data from mobile phones, remote sensors, satellites, and agricultural equipment, food production and markets are being transformed by data infrastructures and algorithmic logic. There is potential for these new technologies to provide low-cost assistance to small farmers and valuable information for countries where official data collection is unreliable.  However, by making farmers into data workers, these technologies also have the potential to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities, further privatize responsibility for food security, and alter the way that smallholder knowledge is valued.

Madeleine Fairbairn is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2014. Zenia Kish is a postdoctoral fellow in the Thinking Matters program at Stanford University. She received her PhD in American Studies from New York University in 2015.