Rethinking the Plantation as an Analytic for Envisioning anti-Racist Futures

In her essay, Plantation Futures, Katherine McKittrick (2013) theorizes the slave plantation as a geographical process founded upon a logic that situates black, brown and white bodies within hierarchies of humanness. In this conception, blackness is deemed inhuman while whiteness constitutes what it means to be fully human. This “plantation logic” drives processes of displacement, capitalist accumulation, erasure and longing that has geographical implications for racialized bodies across time and space. Black geographies, marked by war, disease, poverty, surveillance, and violence are condemned as “uninhabitable”, whereas geographies of overdevelopment and wealth – livable geographies – are overwhelmingly characterized by their whiteness. Yet, despite its seemingly totalizing superstructure, the plantation sparks innovation, resistance, and an ethic of care among oppressed groups.  These effects demonstrate agency and offer counter narratives that help us imagine paths toward anti-racist futures.


This session seeks to employ the plantation as a lens to explore colonialities and post-colonialities in a number of contexts so as to contemplate pathways toward anti-racist futures.  We invite individuals who employ the plantation as an analytic in their current work, who engage with communities grappling with processes and/or legacies of colonial dispossession and oppression, and who actively seek ways to undo those legacies.


Broad themes may include but are not limited to:

  • Indigeneity and settler colonial dynamics

  • Environmental justice/environmental protection/climate change

  • Social-ecologies of resistance and transformation

  • Religion and spirituality

  • Capitalist and alternative economies

  • Decolonizing methodologies

  • New approaches to post-colonial, neocolonial and decolonial theories


Those who would like to participate should send an abstract (no more than 250 words) to Janae Davis ( or Alex Moulton ( by November 25, 2016. Successful applicants will be contacted by November 26, 2015, and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts by December 1, 2016.



McKittrick, K. (2013). Plantation Futures. Small Axe, 17(3 42), 1–15.

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