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Summer School 2022 – Abstracts Morning Lectures

At the Sea’s Edge: A Queer Anti-Narrative

Prof. Dr. Macarena Gómez-Barris

In my own work, I have sought new vocabularies and methods for tracking racial and extractive capitalism in the Americas, pointing to the need to decolonize the Anthropocene through critical analysis and modes of engaging epistemes otherwise. In this experimental keynote based upon my forthcoming book At the Sea’s Edge, I continue to propose a critical lexicon and writing practice that attends to non-binarized geographies and imaginaries that extend beyond the reach of the extractive gaze.

I work to undo the normative paradigm of sustainability by centering pluriversal modes of imagining and being that take place at the sea’s edge. Through proliferation, mourning, lingering, play, and acknowledging pain and exhaustion, new imaginaries of queer ecologies can be made and reshaped. The river and sea edge offer ways of thinking and being that exceed the container of the nation state. And there are modes of visual and literary engagement that offer sources for perceiving the world beyond narrative enclosure. In a time of extreme planetary crisis, climate change, vast racial and economic inequality, how do we find embodied and collective modes of rendering our environments? I draw from queer literary texts, decolonial social movements, pluriversal visual art, and my own water biographies in relation to oceans and rivers to model a critical queer femme environmental writing practice.

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