Black Environmentalisms Symposium
Organizers: Cajetan Iheka and Jonathan Howard

Thursday October 13, 2022

8:45 Breakfast
9:15-9:25 Opening Remarks
9:30-11:00 Panel 1

Acoustic-Ocular Ecologies

Chair: Ashley Sarpong (English, Yale University)

Emily McGiffin (University College London) “Seeing like a king: statecraft and worldmaking in two Guinean Novels”

Rasheed Tazudeen (Yale University) “‘Jonkonnu music noise up the air’: Sylvia Wynter and the Sonic Invention of the Human”

Sandrine Ndahiro (University of Limerick) “Seeing the future: environmental awareness through African films”

J. T. Roane (Rutgers University) “Plot”

11:15-12:30 Panel 2

Black Geologies and Anthropocenes

Chair: Hannah Cole (RITM, Yale University)

Kathryn Yusoff (Queen Mary University of London) “Black Geologies”

Gabrielle Hecht (Stanford University) “Time-Bombed Futures? Combating Residues of the Anthropocene in Africa”

Kirk B. Sides (University of Wisconsin Madison) “African Anthropocene: African Literature’s Speculative Ecologies”

12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:45-3:00 Panel 3

Nonhuman Entanglements

Chair: Ernest Mitchell (English/Humanities, Yale University)

Tao Leigh Goffe (Cornell University) “After Eden: Wildlife and Black Temporality Beyond the Garden”

Kassidi Jones (Yale University) “Work Horse, Hound Dog, Song Bird: Affect and the Animal in Nineteenth-Century African American Poetry”

Paul Outka (University of Kansas) “Unrepresentability, Trauma, Nature: Live Oak with Body”

3:15-4:30 Panel 4

Liquid Ecologies

Chair: Jonathan Howard (African American Studies/English, Yale University)

Elizabeth DeLoughrey (UCLA) “Saltwater Requiem to Inner Space”

Akua A. Banful (UC Davis) “Parting the Waters: Oceanic Erosions, and Interspecies Mournings of the Atlantic Slave Trade”

Alexis Pauline Gumbs (Independent Scholar) “Where Earth Crashes into Itself: Audre Lorde and The Barbados Accretionary Prism”

4:45-6:15 Keynote Panel

Black Environmentalisms in New Haven

Chair: Adriane Jefferson (Director of Arts & Cultural Affairs, New Haven Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism)

Brent Peterkin (Gather New Haven) “What can nature do? Black Connections to the Environment and Community Resilience”

Sarah Gledhill (Yale University) and Epongue Ekille (Yale University) “Energy Justice and Health in a Changing Climate”

Doreen Abubakar (Community Placemaking Engagement Network) “Urban Placemaking in New Haven”

Friday October 14, 2022

8:30: Breakfast
9:00-10:15 Panel 1

Black Environmental Histories

Chair: Vu Horwitz (History of Art, Yale University)

Elleza Kelley (Yale University) “‘Perfect Memory’: The Mnemonic Ecologies of Black Life”

Allegra Ayida (Yale University) “Of Mangroves and Men: A Socio-Ecological History of Mangroves in the Niger-Delta”  

Jacob Dlamini (Princeton University) “Colored Mountains: The History of Black Mountaineering in South Africa”

10:30-12:00 Panel 2

Black Planetary Imaginations

Chair: Erica Edwards (African American Studies/English, Yale University)

Jennifer Wenzel (Columbia University) “’Silt of the Earth’: Achille Mbembe’s Nevertheless (More-Than-?) Humanism”

Evan Mwangi (Northwestern University) “Everyday Environmentalism in East African Literature”

Hannah Cole (Yale University) “‘Spurned Growths’: Reading for Fungi in Kingdom of This World

Ashley Gripper (Drexel University) “Practices of Care and Relationship-building: A Qualitative Analysis of Urban Agriculture’s Impacts on Agency and Wellbeing in Philadelphia”

12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:15-2:30 Panel 3

Black Urbanism and Placemaking

Chair: Rod Ferguson (Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University)

Marisa Solomon (Barnard College) “Ecologies Elsewhere”

Sule Egya (Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University) “Environment, Mobility, and the Postcolonial Subject in African Migration Writing”

Grace Adeniyi-Ogunyankin (Queens University) “#TakeTomorrow?: Queer Temporality, Sense of Place and the Business of Africa Rising”

2:45-4:00 Panel 4

Extractive Ecospheres

Chair: Jill Jarvis (French, Yale University)

Kimberly Bain (University of British Columbia) “Choke: Chemical Infrastructures of Black Suffocation”

Eunice Ngongkum (University of Yaoundé 1) “(Neo)Extractivism Discourses in Contemporary Cameroon Literature”

Paul Ugor (Illinois State University) American Petro-Imperialism, Postcolonial Tyranny, and Punctuated Entropy in Africa: the ‘Aesthetics of the Earth’ in Mbolo Mbue’s How Beautiful We Were

4:30-5:45 Keynote Lecture (Beinecke Library Mezzanine)

Chair: Cajetan Iheka (English, Yale University)

Zina Saro-Wiwa. “African Grass: Reading the Illegible Landscape”

5:45 Closing Remarks
6:00-7:00 Closing Reception