CESA 2015 CONFERENCE!
Sovereignties and Colonialisms: Surviving Racism, Extraction and Dispossession
April 30 – May 3, 2015
York University, Toronto
In December 2012, four women sparked the most recent movement to honour Indigenous sovereignty and protect the environment. They named the exploitation of Indigenous land and resources as the source of state and corporate wealth, and referred to the “interconnections of race, gender, sexuality, class and other identity constructions in ongoing oppression” of Indigenous people.
The third conference of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association aims to continue the critique of toxic industries and “industrial complexes” (academic, nonprofit, prison, psychiatric, medical, arts, etc.) by shedding light on exploitation and expropriation, and by examining the institutions, methods and molds that comprise globalized imperialist capitalism, including anti-oppression movements themselves. This call is premised on the need for Indigenous decolonization, and invites a focus on a range of struggles within this context, including food, water and seed sovereignty, struggles between postcolonial state sovereignties and imperialist sovereignties, liberation of racialized groups and other non-state nations, and the implications of economies of race, gender, sexuality and disability in all of these.
Acknowledging the forerunning work of Indigenous feminists, migrant feminists and feminists of color, we would like to open up space for further interconnections at the heart of critical ethnic studies, including disabled Indigenous and people of colour perspectives, and two-spirit and trans/queer of color perspectives. We are interested in facilitating abolitionist and decolonizing conversations on various industrial formations, including the academic industrial complex, in the face of permanent precarity, extraction and exploitation, unequal divisions of labor, risks and benefits of critique, and the uneven institutionalization of liberation movements through programs around gender, sexuality, disability, environmentalism, multiculturalism and Indigeneity. We aim to provide a space where resistance and oppression can be thought transnationally (including outside the US and in the global south), in ways that attend to the travels and cross-fertilizations of racist and colonial methods in various geopolitical contexts and regimes, such as settler-colonialism, occupation and apartheid; race and coloniality in the global south; globalized travels of anti-blackness; colonialism and development; and confinement, border fortification and global wars on terror.
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The Critical Ethnic Studies Association (CESA) aims to develop an approach to scholarship, institution building, and activism animated by the spirit of the decolonial, antiracist, and other global liberationist movements that enabled the creation of Ethnic Studies, and which continues to inform its political and intellectual projects. We seek to move away from current critical deadlocks, to counteract institutional marginalization, to revisit the political ideas that precipitated ethnic studies’ founding moment within the US academy, and to create new conversations.
Our Vision: Ethnic studies scholarship has laid the foundation for analyzing how racism, settler colonialism, immigration, imperialism, and slavery interact in the creation and maintenance of systems of domination, dispossession, criminalization, expropriation, exploitation, and violence that are predicated upon hierarchies of racialized, gendered, sexualized, economized, and nationalized social existence in the United States and beyond. Our vision of Critical Ethnic Studies highlights how systematized oppression is coterminous with the multitude of practices that resist these systems.