Imperial Terroir: Toward a Queer Molecular Ecology of Colonial Masculinities

12:00 pm on Friday, January 31, 2020
1:00 pm on Friday, January 31, 2020
Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences and Engineering
Contact Organization:
CAS - Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program
Contact Name:
Gabby Newton
Contact Phone:
Dr. Rick Smith, Dartmouth College
Male violence is fundamental to the formation and ongoing existence of settler colonial states. In accounting for histories of settler colonialism, evolutionary approaches have often been used to locate the origins of this violence in biology and rationalize the social orders of the colony as inevitable outcomes of nature. Given this history, queer and Indigenous critiques of settler governance are essential in order to track the ways that racist hetero patriarchal regimes of power emerge through colonial masculinities, not as inevitable consequences of biology, but as historically-contingent processes. In questioning the origins of colonial violence, however, it is important that such critiques not entirely abandon questions of nature, but reframe them by offering creative accounts of bodies and reckoning with the ways colonial masculinity makes itself felt across human and more-than-human ecologies. Here, Dr. Smith argues that colonial masculinities are recent historical inventions that took shape over the last five centuries as creations of colonialism. Given these historical contingencies, Dr. Smith works to shift questions of nature from maleness itself to the nature cultures that colonial masculinities bring into being, tracing some of the emerging molecular ecologies of the colony.