Political ecologists over the past twenty years have increasingly centralized the intersection of race and racism with ecological governance, green political economies, natural resource extraction, and the production of waste and disposability (Bonds and Inwood 2016, Moore et al 2003, Pulido 2017). Cutting-edge scholarship at DOPE frequently contends that nature is a site of power and struggle, and that securing nature through governance, ownership, and monetization is central to the racial ontologies and projects of white supremacy and settler colonialism (Brahinsky et al 2014, Schulz, 2017, Theriault 2017, Van Sant et. al. 2020). While neo-Malthusianisms, nationalist environmentalisms, and eugenic environmental determinisms have long been objects of critique for political ecologists (Taylor 2016), the recent rise of neo-/eco-fascisms (e.g. Forchtner 2019) challenges scholars and activists to hone our precision and modes of intervention for the ongoing struggle for a livable future. Although not without precedent then, it is incontrovertible that the far right has been emboldened globally to produce more explicit regimes of communication and administration that intervene in ecological futures. 

 

This session contends that we need precision concerning the continuities and discontinuities, historically and in the present, among liberal, administrative, and scientific modes of governance and emergent (if always present) forms of far right political organizing. Thus not only our conceptual frameworks, but also our activist/political actions need to be recalibrated to more effectively respond to structural, social and cultural manifestations of white supremacy. Taking such responsibility, however, also requires that we confront the ways that examining such movements can expose uncomfortable continuities with ecological policy and administration, academic institutions and their modes of education, and desires for more just ecologies. 

 

How do political ecologies of the far right - such as so-called environmental nativism, ecofascism, climate apartheid, or climate barbarism - change how race and racism are conceptualized in environmental movements, and how we understand the contested terrain of nature or ecology alongside decolonial, anti-racist, and anti-fascist struggle? What is new or different in the current range of far right articulations of ecology, and what is an extension or cycle of earlier eugenic and populationist forms of governance? Are contemporary liberal or leftist concepts and methods appropriate for describing and evaluating far right movements, or do we require new or different tools? How could attention toward far-right ideology, tactics, and ways of relating to nature inform better strategies for liberation or abolitionist approaches to political ecology? 

 

We seek empirical, theoretical, and activist/political interventions, evaluations, or reflections not limited to the following topics:

 

  • Settler colonialism, empire, and white/euro-american nativism

  • Continuities and discontinuities among liberalism, conservativism, and the far right

  • Neo-malthusianism, lifeboat ethics, and the "great replacement"

  • Border ecologies, migration, and xenophobia

  • Eschatological Christianity and evangelism 

  • Waste, race, and disposability / surplus populations

  • Disasters and climate barbarism / climate apartheid

  • Police, military, private security, and vigilantism

  • Far right leaders and movements in the Global South 

  • Modes of study, intervention, and abolition against white supremacy

  • Property, territoriality, conservation and resource entitlement

  • Technocratic discourses of development and productive fitness

  • Campus/municipal organizing against commemorations of racial rule

  • Studying up and methodological challenges and dangers of researching/confronting the right

  • Critiques of standard knowledges and researcher positionalities used in confronting fascism

 

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words in length to bosworthk@vcu.edu by November 19. We welcome and encourage submissions from undergraduates and non-academics, and in non-traditional formats.

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