Radical Solidarities in Environments of Crisis/ 2023 American Studies Association (ASA)
We are perhaps past the point of stopping the climate disaster that is producing environments of crisis around the globe–water pollution, housing deprivation, spread of contagion, maldistribution of resources, and displacement and dispossession. Building on Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s definition of racism, this panel examines environments of crisis as “state-sanctioned or extralegal production and exploitation of group-differentiated vulnerability to premature death.” Fantasies of a return to a pristine past or a rush towards a future in which environmental crises are “solved” have long been unavailable to those marked as disposable. In other words, what plagues the environment is more than the obvious - plastic straws, oil spills, fossil fuels – it is also the ideologies that mark some populations as disposable over others, thereby foreclosing their future. We invite papers that archive the practices that emerge within environments of crisis. What happens when we settle in the space of the ruinous now and examine the various solidarities that are forged in order to negotiate/transform the effects of climate catastrophe?