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Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit and Religion and Ecology Unit and Religions in the Latina/o Americas Unit

Call for Proposals

After Catastrophe:

While environmental catastrophes are often narrated as threats to dominant (i.e., white settler) social orders that need to be maintained, this session explores environmental catastrophe as de- and anti-colonialism. In other words, this session challenges the anxiety of rescuing settler futurity in decolonial projects by focusing on Indigenous scholarship of decolonization. Successful proposals will foreground Indigenous voices not as case studies in victims of catastrophe but as sources for reimagining and reinterpreting the connections between ecological changes and overturning social order as well as the structures and narratives for a decolonial inhabitation of land after catastrophe. Possible themes and questions might include: 

  • Past catastrophes as present problems: How do the underlying logics of colonial events like residential schools, forced removals, etc. live on in the structures of settler relations to land (property ownership, mobility, community building, gardening/agriculture, environmental protection and conservation, nature recreation, environmental organizations and movements, resource management etc)? 
  • How do/should religious environmental organizations or movements engage with Indigenous nations or colonialism? Both descriptive and constructive research are welcomed. 
  • Indigenous futures: what is the current scholarship in Indigenous religious traditions on Indigenous futurity? How does/should this impact how environmental problems and solutions are framed? 
  • Religious environmental concerns as rescuing settler futurity: How are environmental problems being framed in religious contexts to get practitioners to care about environmental problems, frame environmental issues as religious problems, or use religious traditions as resources for addressing those issues in ways that presume an anxiety about settler futurity? How do Indigenous religious traditions either frame these differently or offer theories and scholarship for critically engaging and changing these frames? 
  • Indigenous religious traditions and climate change: How have Indigenous nations both narrated and responded to climate change? How is climate change not an issue for a generalized abstract “Anthropocene” but for specific Indigenous communities? What are the responses to particular problems – both in terms of how communities draw on their own resources as well as advocate for themselves in public or political arenas? 



Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection