Resisting Toxic Climates: Gender, Colonialism, and Environment

Date / time: 26 July - 27 July, 9:00 am - 5:30 pm


British Academy/Wellcome Trust Conferences bring together scholars and specialists from around the world to explore themes related to health and wellbeing.

Whether it’s the spectacular event of an oil spill or the scarcely perceptible pollution of micro-plastics, toxicity is central to the environmental concerns of today. To exist in the world means being vulnerable to multiple forms of toxicity. Yet, conditions of vulnerability are unequal, shaped by enduring global histories of colonialism and capitalism.

This event will highlight the toxic valences of coloniality, asking how toxicity manifests and mutates with particular regard to gender across variously situated bodies, lands and waterscapes. While we are concerned with the interrelated forms of material toxicity that threaten the wellbeing of human and more-than-human communities, we also seek to facilitate dialogue around pertinent social, political and cultural discourses of toxification. Operating at the intersections of the medical and environmental humanities, and centering feminist, queer, decolonial and Indigenous paradigms, this interdisciplinary event brings together scholars and practitioners working across disciplines and employing creative and/or critical modes of enquiry to explore these topics.

Resisting Toxic Climates will feature a series of original artworks by Natasha Thembiso Ruwona and Caitlin Stobie, produced in response to the themes and setting of the event.

The programme will feature a tour of the exhibition Shipping Roots by Keg De Sousa, led by the exhibition curator Emma Nicolson.

This event will take place at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. For more information and to book tickets, please visit the British Academy website.

Conference convenors

Dr Rebecca Macklin, University of Edinburgh
Dr Alexandra Campbell, University of Glasgow
Professor Michelle Keown, University of Edinburgh


Professor Mishuana Goeman, University of Buffalo
Professor Savage Bear, McMaster University
Professor Simone M. Müller, University of Augsburg
Dr Katucha Bento, University of Edinburgh
Dr Metzli Yoalli Rodriguez, Forest Lake University
Dr Hannah Boast, University of Edinburgh
Professor Astrida Niemanis, University of British Columbia Okanagan
Dr Christine Okoth, Kings College London
Dr Treasa De Loughery, University College Dublin
Dr Dipali Mathur, Ulster University
Dr Jason Allen-Paisant, University of Manchester
Dr Thandi Loewenson, Royal College of Art
Dr Craig Santos Perez, University of Hawaii
Dr Alycia Pirmohamed, University of Cambridge
Professor Patricia Widener, Florida Atlantic University
Dr J.T. Roane, Rutgers University
Dr Caitlin Stobie, University of Leeds
Natasha Thembiso Ruwona

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