In his important recent essay “Colonial Object Relations,” literary theorist David L. Eng scrutinizes a disturbing and profoundly geographical colonial analogy in the work of Austrian-British psychoanalyst Melanie Klein. Klein compared the process of psychic “reparation,” whereby children repair hateful feelings toward their primary caregivers with feelings of gratitude, to European political reparation for colonial atrocities. Yet in Klein’s political scenario, colonists “make repair” for indigenous genocides by repopulating a territory, not with Indigenous people, but with their own European countrymen. This relay of violence followed by atonement through replacement, Eng argues, lies at the core of “bad faith liberal white guilt.” This talk builds on Eng’s work by examining how phantasies about refugees from the global South can impede meaningful reparation for colonial violence and solidarity with migrants. I illustrate this argument at length with two examples. The first draws on empirical fieldwork I conducted for my first book project with LGBT refugees at a church refugee program in Toronto, Canada from 2011 to 2016. The second previews a new research project on the literary character Paddington Bear, hailed by the International Rescue Committee as “the most famous Refugee in Britain.”
David K. Seitz is a cultural geographer with interests in questions of difference, desire, and citizenship, broadly conceived. He is Assistant Professor of Cultural Geography in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts at Harvey Mudd College. His first book, A House of Prayer for All People: Contesting Citizenship in a Queer Church (2017, Minnesota) examines the affective and spatial dimensions of belonging at a large, predominantly LGBT church in Toronto, Canada. His articles have appeared in Society and Space, Antipode, The International Journal of Regional Research, and Emotion, Space and Society.
Dr. Stoler is co-PI of the NSF-funded Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) Research Coordination Network (RCN), a collaborative of 50+ water researchers and practitioners that study household water insecurity in relation to broader socio-environmental challenges. The HWISE Network fosters the development of new analytics and theoretical advances, as well as research protocols and standardized assessments to document, benchmark, and understand the causes and consequences of water insecurity at the household level. HWISE partners have completed standardized water insecurity assessments at 28 sites across 4 continents, comprising data from over 8,000 households. Dr. Stoler presents the highlights of ongoing cross-cultural studies using HWISE data, prospects for high-resolution monitoring and evaluation of water insecurity, and implications for the Sustainable Development Goals.
American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
San Diego State University Student Chapter