February 24, 2023

Introducing Keynote Speaker – Kathryn Yusoff

Writing about web page https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/hrc/confs/territorialbodies/

“Territorial Bodies” Keynotes (1/2): Kathryn Yusoff

When deciding the keynotes for “Territorial Bodies”, we had a number of key considerations in mind. Given the interdisciplinarity at the heart of the conference, we were keen to find keynotes who embraced this interdisciplinarity within their own work. Those academics who are redefining fields, thinking across disciplines, and breaking out of traditional silos were at the top of our list. We were also searching for the keynotes to bring a variety of perspectives on the central notion of “Territorial Bodies”, particularly considering the idea from across social, political and environmental frameworks. Introducing Prof. Kathryn Yusoff, Professor of Inhuman Geography at Queen Mary University of London…

About Kathryn

Kathryn is a Professor of Inhuman Geography at Queen Mary University of London. In her own words, “Kathryn’s work is centred on dynamic earth events such as abrupt climate change, biodiversity loss and extinction. She is interested in how these “earth revolutions” impact social thought. Broadly, her work has focused on political aesthetics, social theory and abrupt environmental change”.

Currently, her research is examining questions of “Geological Life” through the temporal frame of the Anthropocene. In particular, she focuses on “how inhuman and nonorganic dimensions of life have consequences for how we understand issues of fossil fuels, human-earth relations and materiality in the politics of life”. Kathryn’s work sits at the intersection of contemporary feminist philosophy, critical human geography and the earth sciences.

Kathryn’s publication record includes her seminal text, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), “The Anthropocene and Geographies of Geopower” (Handbook on the Geographies of Power, 2018), “Indeterminate Bodies” (Body and Society, 2017) and “Geologic subjects: nonhuman origins, geomorphic aesthetics and the art of becoming inhuman” (Cultural Geographies, 2014).

Prior to her current position, Kathryn held the role of Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Queen Mary University of London and Lectureships at Lancaster University and University of Exeter.

Kathryn’s Keynote: Geologic Bodies, Planetary States

Thinking bodies as earth systems and one of the social stratums of earth processes (as racial capitalism), I will address differentiation and aggregation in the social body as a political and environmental state. Understanding bodies as implicated in geochemistry and seeing the geologic as a medium of social struggle, I will shift the focus from a scalar perspectivism to a temporal one. I will argue that Geologic Life substantiates a key analytic for geography that positions inhuman forces in political terms as preceding biopolitical concepts of life and understanding changes of state as a political domain.

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