November 13 Call for Papers: The Work of Settler Colonialism

The Work of Settler Colonialism

– an interdisciplinary symposium –

 April 2nd, CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY

 Abstract Submission Deadline: November 13th, 2015


Recent years have witnessed the growth of ‘settler colonialism’ as an organizing concept within North American academic and activist circles, emphasizing the continued occupation of Indigenous lands and the necessity of foregrounding land-based decolonization, Indigenous political and cultural resurgence, and the sovereignty of First Nations. Meanwhile, the unending crises of neoliberal capitalism have fostered new forms of labor action, popular confrontations with austerity, and a proliferation of scholarship on the history of capitalism. Despite the contemporaneous nature of these developments, little conversation exists between them. This symposium attempts to address the lacuna between these fields, and find productive gaps, tensions, and entry points. If, as Patrick Wolfe contends, settler colonial invasion “is a structure not an event,” then the future of the settler state will be brought about through continuous labor in multiple arenas of social life. Yet this also signals the radical potential of labor to disrupt the global capitalist system, exposing its foundation and replications in Indigenous dispossession. This symposium holds out hope that by bringing these fields together, new solidarities, strategies, and scholarly agendas can emerge. We imagine contributions to this symposium will be papers or performances that address themes including, but not limited to:


The labor of expansion; enslavement; extractive industries; land ruination and preservation; land parceling; the commons; unions and unionization; anarchism, socialism, and Marxism; migrant workers; solidarities and divergences; gendered labor and gendered violence; reproductive labor, education, and child abduction; laboring within recognition; academic labor; and transdisciplinary interventions. Our primary concern is to hear from those interested in thinking through engagements between labor and Indigenous politics.


What is the work of settler colonialism?

Is the future of labor a settler future?

Where are the points of convergence/ divergence?

Where is solidarity work already being done?

Where are Indigenous peoples already central to labor movements?


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Please submit an abstract, no longer than 500 words, single-spaced, including your name and institutional affiliation, by November 13th, 2015, to


Papers will be due February 15th, 2016

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