Lou Cornum (Wesleyan University), “New World and the New World: Indigenous Practices of Speculative Geography”

Event time: 
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 11:30am to 1:00pm
Online via Zoom See map
Event description: 

What does it mean to build a world? I use the language of science fiction to understand both how the colonial world was constructed through processes of settler colonialism and trans-Atlantic slavery and how authors constituted as Indigenous and Black through these processes use science fiction to transform categories of land and human. This talk elaborates a shared tradition of world building, the elaboration of an alternative space-time, across Indigenous and Black Literatures. Putting the “Five Hundred Year Map” that supplements Laguna Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead (1991) into conversation with geographic concepts from Indigenous and Black Studies, namely across the work of Mishuana Goeman and Katherine McKittrick, the talk will conclude by arguing that world building extends from the literary practice of spatiotemporal imaginings to other modes of aesthetic and social interventions. An orientation across Indigenous Studies to world building breathes possibility into scholarly, cultural, and political forms of impasse by insisting on the creative capacities of anti-colonial place-making. 

Lou Cornum is the current Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow in Native American Studies at Wesleyan University. They received their PhD in English at the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2021. They are at work on a book manuscript titled Skin Worlds: Speculative Geographies Across Black and Indigenous Literatures. Recently published work can be found in the Critical Ethnic Studies Journal, Social Text Online, and Canadian Literature. Lou is an enrolled citizen of the Navajo Nation. 

Follow this link to register: shorturl.at/joKU4