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SpacesofSpiritualityCover

It has been a long while since I’ve updated QUE! I’m happy to do so to announce the publication of Spaces of Spirituality, edited by Nadia Bartolini, Sara MacKian, and Steve Pile. Though I’m still waiting for my physical copy of the book, I am delighted to tell you that prof. dusky purples has drafted the concluding chapter, “Reading Three Ways: Ask Me How!” In the chapter, the elusive professor offers her experimental take on reading using tarot and astrology. Naturally, the hardcover is quite expensive, so do encourage your university library to purchase it, if you can. Otherwise, I’m happy to share my contribution with you. Just drop me a line in the comments.

In the mean time, I’ve updated my “Moving, Doing, Talking” page to reflect some upcoming conference activity as part of a very exciting collaborative projected on feminist urban theory which I am co-organizing with many of the same folks who were involved in the SSHRC Critical Engagements with Planetary Urbanization project that I co-organized back in 2016. Stay tuned!

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Michele Lancione‘s (aka l’editore più generoso e simpatico––non da dire intelligentissimo––nel mondo, o almeno quelle parte che so io del mondo!) first book/edited volume, Rethinking Life at the Margins, is out today! Like all hardcover academic books, it’s euphemistic to call it ‪#‎notcheap‬, but you can get your libraries to order it! And/or use the discount code -50% with ‘ASHGATE230’

I’m beyond proud to have written the final chapter of the book, “Between the Fool and the World” and to have it sit among such excellent and varied contributions to the book! For my part, I get biographical on Deleuze+Guattari and question what it means to “claim a margin” in the university, a questioning journey that began years ago and that is inspired by and grounded in so much of the radical work that has learned and taught me well in FES, especially Ace Yorku Equity Seminars. Of course, it’s all framed by doing tarot…critical-spiritual survival practice for marginal life/living, which, as usual, cuts right to the core.

#SpoilerAlert (from the conclusion to my chapter):

Agencement [assemblage] seeks to enable the elaboration of difference en route to contextual understandings of the institutionalizations of power and the potential for unmasking and unsettling the oppression of marginal bodies, groups, and practices. It has been my argument that, if  agencement [assemblage] is to be a critical, even liberating, concept-practice, then we must skeptically attend to the particularities of the very institutions that profess commitments to diversity and difference, including through the elaboration of ideas of assemblage and through the gesture of assembling life at the margins. As Sara Ahmed (2012 [On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life]) reveals, although many universities are increasingly managing to ‘make room’ for ‘diverse’ bodies through commitments to inclusion, such principled policies often, and necessarily, fail precisely on their own terms.

 

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I’m very excited to announce that I’ll have a chapter in the forthcoming book Urban Forests, Trees and Greenspace: A Political Ecology Perspective (2014, Earthscan/Routledge) edited by the amazing team behind the Urban Forests and Political Ecologies conference held at University of Toronto last year: L. Anders Sandberg (York U, FES), Adrina Bardekjian (York U, FES), and Sadia Butt (UofT, Forestry).

My chapter, “Queering the Urban Forest: The Ecological Ethics and Politics of Arboreal Entanglement,” travels to Detroit, New York, and Chișinău, Moldova with my favorite arboreal guide, the Tree of Heaven. A taste from my intro:

Tree of Heaven is a speculative link in a longer chain of queer and ecological theory and practice. This chapter deploys queer reading and writing of Tree of Heaven. A queer reading looks not only at how the tree reproduces but also at its dis/location, to the symbolic and material crisis of its overabundance, and to its space-making tactics. A queer writing of Tree of Heaven does not speak of success and failures in anything like absolute terms. Instead, it is a gesture of mutualist alliance with the tree. I write as a way of asking where it takes us and where we are taken if we follow it.

What kinds of spaces must we walk through to find it? Where are these spaces in the city? Who and what uses those spaces? Who and what disappears when Ailanthus disappears? The tree tells stories and reveals patterns of displacement, destruction, renewal, and dwelling. It helps us to locate concepts and practices that bring new creativity to bear in dealing with the violent displacements and volatile crises of urban capitalism. Lurking around freshly sprouting stands of A. altissima is just one way to ask how anything survives, let alone thrives, in the midst of those crises and displacements.

 

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