James St.John, Weathered claystones (Pekin Formation, Upper Triassic; Boren Clay Pit, Gulf, North Carolina, USA) 7
24 May 2023

Inhuman Memory by Kathryn Yusoff

On Wednesday 24 May 2023, 17:30hrs, Professor Kathryn Yusoff, the author of A Billion Black Anthropocenes, will give a public lecture at the Environmental Humanities Center Amsterdam. Yusoff's current work focuses on Inhuman Memory. She will be joined by members of Planetary Portals, a creative research group that uses imperial archives to create critical cartographies of the colonial praxis of emergence and extraction. In the afternoon before the lecture, Yusoff and members of the Planetary Portal research group will hold a graduate seminar for MA and PhD students.


Organized by Research institute Clue +, The Environmental Humanities Center, and The Graduate School of Humanitites, in cooperation with the Research Center for Material Culture

Inhuman Memory

If the earth remembers more than it forgets – as a billion blackened Anthropocenes of colonial earth suggest – what is inhuman memory? Can a gritty residue of counter-archives be found in soils, rocks, mounds, as the discourses of materiality organize its forgetting? Does history cling to the world in its erasure, the earth as a collector of disobedience, rebellion, and revolt, claiming time outside the colonial clock? Against an inhuman history of ‘dehumanization and thingification’ (Césaire 1999), this talk will explore how another poetics of the inhuman could redress the colonial afterlives of racial material-spatial practices. This talk maps another cartography of racialized geologies that sees the earth as an archival medium; one that unearths ghost geologies and suggest a way into reparative earth acts.

About the Speaker

Kathryn Yusoff is professor of Inhuman Geography at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (University of Minnesota Press 2019). Her work is centred on dynamic earth events such as abrupt climate change, biodiversity loss and extinction. Her current research addresses questions of ‘Geologic Life’ within the proposed geologic epoch of the Anthropocene. Together with Casper Laing Ebbensgaard, Kerry Holden, and Michael Salu, she forms the Planetary Portals research group that uses imperial archives to create critical cartographies of the colonial praxis of emergence and extraction.

Kathryn Yusoff