This is an edited recording of Keynote: Rethinking Geologic Subjectivity in Broken Earths, Kathryn Yusoff, moderated by Andrew Goffey
This discussion took place during day 1 of Caves, Dwellings & Vibration, a two-day programme deepening and complexifying our relationship with caves through talks, music, film and performances.
What does it mean to be a geologic subject in the Anthropocene? When and where are the broken earths of the planetary? Thinking through undergrounds disturbs the plasticity of the surface and destabilises the politics of the present. In this talk, Yusoff time travels in the broken earths of the Anthropocene in order to unearth the historical constructions of racialised undergrounds of Indigenous, Black and Brown life. Considering undergrounds as archetypes in the production of knowledge and the materialising of colonial worlds, Yusoff gives further insights into the mine and the cave to discuss accounts of materiality and geologic time. Understanding undergrounds as an affective medium of colonial earth, she addresses questions of inhuman intimacy and subterranean tactics to redress the weaponisation of geology.
Kathryn Yusoff is Professor of Inhuman Geography in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London. Her research examines how inhuman and nonorganic materialities have consequences for how we understand issues of environmental change, race and subjectivity. Most recently, she is author of A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, Minneapolis (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), an SI on Geosocial Formations and the Anthropocene (with Nigel Clark) in Theory Culture and Society, Epochal Aesthetics, The Mine in e-flux, and The Inhumanities in The Annals of American Geographers. Her forthcoming book, Geologic Life: Inhuman Intimacies and the Geophysics of Race (DUP) addresses the racial geologies of rocks. She is recipient of the Association of American Geographers 2022 Award for Creativity in Geography.
Andrew Goffey works at the University of Nottingham where he is Director of the Centre for Critical Theory. He is the editor with Eric Alliez of The Guattari Effect, of The Allure of Things (with Roland Faber) and the co-author, with Matthew Fuller, of Evil Media. He has translated and edited books by, amongst others, Isabelle Stengers, and is currently completing projects on the micropolitics of software and on the ecological thinking of Félix Guattari.