Calendar of Events

Spring 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017
Rebekah Sheldon (English, Indiana University, Bloomington)
Rebekah Sheldon
When Life Says No: Sterility Apocalypses and Queer Ecopessimism
5:30 pm Curtin 118

When life says no, how do we respond? Queer and feminist theory has taught us much about naysaying. From Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto to Sara Ahmed’s feminist killjoy, negativity has remained centrally important to the work of politically engaged criticism. Far fewer critics, however, have celebrated the Earth’s own negativity. The specters of exhaustion, extinction, depletion, and sterility, which abound in future speculations, appear as so many traces of harmful human agency. In this talk, Rebekah Sheldon reads against the grain of sterility apocalypses to map the shape of a queer ecopessimism.

Rebekah Sheldon is an assistant professor of English at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is the author of The Child to Come: Life After the Human Catastrophe (2016), which considers the child figure under conditions of environmental threat. She contributed an essay, "Form / Matter / Chora: Object-Oriented Ontology and Feminist New Materialism," to our volume, The Nonhuman Turn (2015), which developed from our 2012 conference of the same name. Her current book project takes up the question of the future through speculative metaphysics, affect theory, and queer occultism. Rebekah was a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow with us during 2011-12, and an affiliated scholar from 2012-13.

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