[ISEA2020] Keynote: Kim TallBear — A Sharpening of the Already Present: Five Analytical Vignettes on Apocalypse, Hope, Death, and Life

This talk, organized around five analytical vignettes, explores an Indigenous analytical approach to understanding the concept of the “Anthropocene,” including why the present era is not quite everyone’s apocalypse: some Peoples are already post-apocalyptic survivors. In addition to drawing on Indigenous scholarship, two compatible ideas drawn from other decolonial and “multispecies” literatures, “radical hope” and “biocultural hope” respectively, are offered as alternative foundational concepts to counter settler-colonial ideological responses to the current environmental crisis and to the denied/impending fall of US empire. Building from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous materialist critiques of human/animal divides and hierarchies of life, TallBear suggests that the concept of “genocide” must be expanded to include other-than-humans whose lives and deaths are co-constitutive with human lives and deaths. Finally, TallBear examines the relationship between “life” and “death,” gluttonous lives and bad deaths.

  • Kim TallBear is Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta, and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment. She is also a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellow. Dr. TallBear is the author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science. Building on her research on the role of technoscience in settler colonialism, Dr. TallBear also studies the colonization of Indigenous sexuality. She is a regular commentator in US, Canadian, and UK media outlets on issues related to Indigenous peoples, science, and technology as well as Indigenous sexualities. She is a regular panelist on the weekly podcast, Media Indigena. She is a citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota. kimtallbear.com