Symposium – “Political Ecologies of Race: Settler Colonialism and Environmental Racism in the United States and Canada”

Edited by Levi Van Sant (George Mason University), Richard Milligan (Georgia State University) and Sharlene Mollett (University of Toronto Scarborough), this collection of ten essays is available online now, and will be in print in our May 2021 issue, Antipode Volume 53, Number 3.

Drawing inspiration from popular efforts to connect a wide array of political struggles, the Symposium examines the ways that racial-colonial politics unfold through nature and environmental practices linking past, present, and future across the United States and Canada. By way of introduction, the editors ask: What does it mean to do political ecologies of race in Canada and the United States? For them the response cannot be additive – merely grafting attention to racial/colonial politics onto established scholarly conventions. Instead, they aim for a deeper analysis that challenges and enlivens the field of political ecology. The editors’ introduction highlights what is at stake, and identifies the ways that the contributors’ research pushes the field. Ultimately, Levi, Richard and Sharlene argue that political ecologies of race can help reinvigorate intellectual projects and build liveable futures by recognizing and supporting the connections between ongoing struggles. We hope this Symposium contributes to the task.

Symposium – “Political Ecologies of Race”

Introduction – Political Ecologies of Race: Settler Colonialism and Environmental Racism in the United States and Canada – Levi Van Sant, Richard Milligan and Sharlene Mollett

Naturalising Finance, Financialising Natives: Indigeneity, Race, and “Responsible” Agricultural Investment in Canada – Melanie Sommerville

“They’re treating us like Indians!”: Political Ecologies of Property and Race in North American Pipeline Populism – Kai Bosworth

“The long-time requirements of the nation”: The US Cooperative Soil Survey and the Political Ecologies of Improvement – Levi Van Sant

Unsettling Indian Water Settlements: The Little Colorado River, the San Juan River, and Colonial Enclosures – Andrew Curley

The Limits of Liberal Recognition: Racial Capitalism, Settler Colonialism, and Environmental Governance in Vancouver and Atlanta – Tyler McCreary and Richard Milligan

Urban Political Ecology from Below: Producing a “Peoples’ History” of the Portland Harbor – Erin Goodling

An Intimate Inventory of Race and Waste – Pavithra Vasudevan

As Above, So Below: Anti-Black Violence as Environmental Racism – Willie Jamaal Wright

Afterword – Hemispheric, Relational, and Intersectional Political Ecologies of Race: Centring Land-Body Entanglements in the Americas – Sharlene Mollett