In the spirit of building kinship and reimagining relations, our conference has invited graduate students to participate in roundtables—rather than traditional paper panels—where they will offer constructive feedback about works in progress in a range of genres and engage in thoughtful discussion with each other and audience members about new directions in their fields. There are thirty participants, twenty-seven submissions, and six roundtables organized around the keywords: seed, ceremony, sound, work, confluence, and cacophony.
seed >> origins of interdependence
Khaleel Grant >> Black Sovereignty: “A New World View”
Khaleel Grant is a PhD student in the Department of History and the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. Their fields of study are US history in the 20th century and the history of gender, slavery, and racial capitalism in North America and the Caribbean. Their research seeks to uncover the transnational origins of the contemporary prison abolition movement. Their objective is to expose the liberatory efforts of prisoners and incarcerated intellectuals, scholars, organizations, and communities who developed a radical politics of prison abolition amid the crisis of mass incarceration, racist policing, and the prison-industrial complex.
Diana Guo and Tian Wei >> Watery Abundance: Building Collective Action through Food along the Gwich’in Mackenzie River
Diana Guo is a researcher and designer pursuing a Master’s in Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research focuses on cultural geographies that connect feminist perspectives on class and work with questions of landscape labor, maintenance, and stewardship in post extraction territories. As a designer, Diana is interested in creating atmospheres through storytelling and poetry and believes in the soft power that stories can bring. Moving forward, she will continue researching themes of biopolitics and inclusion/exclusion in design practice and art.
Tian Wei is a nature-lover and a mission-driven designer exploring socio-environmentally sustainable design, cultural reclamation, and co-production landscapes at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She has worked at MVVA in the US and Openfabric in the Netherlands. Her current areas of research include building equitable, symbiotic, and co-habitational relationships between humans and nonhuman agents. Her goal is to transform spaces, systems, and products into generators of ecological and socio-cultural benefits.
J. Uluwehi Hopkins >> ‘Ono Wai: The Thirst for Water in Late Nineteenth-Century Hawai‘i
J. Uluwehi Hopkins is a Kanaka Maoli scholar whose lineage has been on the island of Oʻahu for generations. She is currently a PhD candidate in History at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a focus on Hawaiian history. Her research interests cover a broad range from ancient traditions through the end of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893. Uluwehi’s dissertation, titled “Kāneikawaiola: The Life-giving Waters of Mānoa,” examines disputes over water rights in Mānoa Valley on Oʻahu from the 1870s through the 1890s, detailing the ebb and flow between traditional management methods and the implementation of western-styled laws.
Kahala Johnson >> ‘Aikanaka: A Hawaiian Empire
Kahala Johnson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. They are pursuing a PhD in Indigenous Politics and Alternative Futures as well as a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexualities Studies. Their dissertation, “A Night Slippery with Echoes: Imagining Indige-Feminist Futures Beyond Settler Patriarchy,” envisions decolonial futures from the standpoint of Hawaiian wāhine and māhū cosmologies.
Andrew Suárez >> Looking Forth from Rot: Queer/Trans Ecologies in Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night and Rajiv Mohabir’s The Cowherd’s Son
Andrew Suárez is currently a second-year PhD student in Harvard’s American Studies program. His current research investigates how the LGBTQ+ acronym functions transnationally in discourses of subjecthood, inclusion, race, gender, and sexuality. More broadly, he looks at identity formation for gender and sexual minorities, radical activism in these communities, the colonial history of racialized gender and sexual categories, and how this history shapes contemporary queer politics and identity. Within his work, he pulls from Queer of Color Critique, Critical Latinx Indigeneities, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, and Ethnic Studies. His lifelong dream is to raise honey bees.
ceremony >> a coming together to ensure physical and spiritual wellbeing
Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato >> Remembering Relationality with Copal Resin: Decolonial Interpretations for Ceremonial Survivance
Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato is a Xicana MDiv candidate at Harvard Divinity School and a Graduate Student Associate at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. Broadly, her research explores Indigenous philosophy, material religion, ritual survivance, and human relationships with plants, animals, ancestors, and ancestral belongings in Abya Yala (the Americas). With particular attention on copal incense in pre-contact Mesoamerica and the modern Mexico-U.S. borderland region, Rebecca seeks to remember and reimagine decolonial ontologies and interspecies kinship. Rebecca is also the co-founder of Nahautl Notequixpoyohuan Language Study Group.
Ha’åni Lucia Falo San Nicolas >> Navigating Pacific Connections beyond Colonialism through Poetry
Ha’åni Lucia Falo San Nicolas is a CHamoru and Samoan activist, emerging poet, and PhD student in the Indigenous Politics program at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She works as a graduate assistant for the Department of Political Science teaching introductory-level courses. Ha’åni also serves as the Associate Producer of “Deep Pacific,” a podcast that uplifts Indigenous, Pacific Islander voices, and is the Advocacy and Organizing Director for Famalao’an Rights, the only reproductive justice initiative in Guåhan. Her research interests include Indigenous and Pacific Island feminisms, poetry, Indigenous sovereignty, reproductive justice, resistance, and decolonization.
Dave Skene >> Coffee with the Ancestors: Memory as Ceremony
Dave Skene is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. He is the Executive Director of White Owl Native Ancestry Association, a community-based Indigenous agency that endeavors to enhance the lives of Indigenous Peoples in Southwestern Ontario. He also is a founding member of the Wisahkotewinowak Indigenous Garden Collective with a focus of reclaiming land and place in urban centers. Dave completed his MA in Indigenous Community Development at Acadia University and is a PhD student at NAIITS an Indigenous Learning Community. His research uses film to explore urban Indigenous food and land sovereignty.
Kabl Wilkerson >> Surviving the Prairie: Citizen Potawatomi Resistance to Post-Removal Assimilation
Kabl Wilkerson is a PhD student in Harvard’s Department of History and a citizen of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. They were born and raised on the southern plains of West Texas and received a BA from Texas Tech University in 2019. Their scholarly interests include understanding the relationship between American Indian policy and the formation of race law in the Third Reich, questions on the nature of Indigeneity, the interaction of ideology and aesthetics in settler-colonial states, and, all this taken together, how the historical memory of genocide is consequently influenced.
sound >> frequencies of relationality
Max Conley >> Underwater Listening: Acoustic Histories of Cetacean Anti-Colonialism in the 19th Century
Max Conley is a second-year History PhD student at Brown University. They are broadly interested in oceanic environmental history and the environmental humanities, animal history, energy history, and the history of US empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. Their most recent research was on the history of sperm whales, settler colonialism, and sperm whale oil refining in Nantucket in the mid-19th century. However, they are most recently interested in working towards a longer multispecies history of underwater sound, imperialism, and cetaceans in the 19th and 20th centuries. They are also interested in intersections between disability studies and environmental humanities.
Sam Ikehara >> The Feel of Peace: Noise Pollution and an Okinawan Poetics of Wind
Born and raised on Oʻahu, Sam Ikehara is a PhD candidate in American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Her research examines the inner and afterlives of U.S. and Japanese empire in Asia and the Pacific through a consideration of air, wind, and breath. Analyzing different air-oriented technologies and tactics of warfare that forcibly bring together disparate sites, her work delves into the interchangeability of militarized landscapes and how they are rendered disposable through racialized and gendered logics of environment. Her work is forthcoming in Verge: Studies in Global Asias and Critical Ethnic Studies Journal.
Skayu Louis >> My Relations in Sound: Rethinking Fragmented Settler Boundary-Making in Conservation through the Cacophonous Performance of a Migratory Songbird
Skayu Louis (he/him/they) is Syilx, Secwepmc, and German from the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. He grew up in his Syilx Okanagan homelands within the teachings of his extended family. He is currently a PhD student in the Indigenous Politics Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His research pertains to decolonizing conservation practices and is interested in multi-species ethnography, sound studies, Indigenous environmental justice, and building Indigenous resurgence. Currently, he is developing his dissertation research project tracing the migratory route of a songbird and is interested in Indigenous methodologies that provide pathways towards Indigenous conservation structures.
Gabriel Salomon Mindel >> The Soundscape of Nothing: Meditations on Landscape and Life
Gabriel Salomon Mindel is an interdisciplinary artist, musician, and scholar whose research concerns the relationships between noise, protest, and power. His most recent article, “Performing Abolition: Paul Robeson in the Canadian Borderlands” was published in Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture. Mindel received an MFA from Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts and is currently a PhD candidate in the History of Consciousness department at the University of California in Santa Cruz.
work >> practices of making/unmaking
Emalee Farley >> Bear Witness, Rupture Time
Emalee Farley (she/they) is a first-year PhD student in Cultural Studies at the University of California, Davis. They are a queer disabled activist and student who explores the intersection of Food Sovereignty, Food Justice, Critical Disability Studies, and Critical Indigenous Studies. Their work aims to build a nuanced understanding of Queer/Crip theory, food justice movements, the cultural, psychological, and emotional connections we form with food, and construct sustainable food justice platforms for disabled people. They integrate decoloniality, anti-capitalism, anarcho-mutual aid traditions, and wellness to understand systems of oppression that limit access to food justice systems and traditional, natural, and unprocessed foods for disabled people.
Issay Matsumoto >> “Malihini Agitators”: Unions, Land, and Indigeneity in Post-World War II Hawai‘i
Issay Matsumoto is a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Southern California. He studies modern US, Hawai‘i, and Japan, with research focused on the transpacific dynamics of empire, labor, and capitalism. He received his BA from Tufts University, majoring in History and American Studies with a minor in Asian American Studies. He was a 2021 Critical Language Scholarship recipient for advanced Japanese at Okayama University. He is also affiliated with the Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures, and the Center for Transpacific Studies at USC.
Zia Pollis >> A Poetry of Resource
Zia Pollis is a poet and illustrator from Peñasco, New Mexico. She is a Master’s of Divinity student at the Harvard Divinity School and holds a BA in English from Reed College. Her nonfiction and poetry have been featured in Nailed magazine and are concerned with inspiriting and honoring seemingly inanimate, natural, and domestic processes.
Melodie Turori >> Te ‘iti nei te marama kīkau: Reconnecting Work Practices to the Land for Our Wellbeing
Melodie Turori was born in Aotearoa and raised on Luiseño/Payómkawichum land in California. She is descended from the peoples of Aitutaki, Pukapuka, Sweden, and Germany. Through film and audio, poetry, and textile-based works, her research and multidisciplinary art practice explores intergenerational layers of identity, relationships, and theology from the context of the Oceanic diaspora on Turtle Island. Melodie worked as a freelance multimedia and marketing producer for more than twelve years; she is now an MA student at NAIITS an Indigenous Learning Community, adjunct faculty in the Cinema-Television-Radio department at Saddleback College, and the Cook Islands representative for the Pacific American Community Cultural Center (PACCC).
confluence >> where multiple communities and ways of knowing meet, as rivers might
Jessica Benally >> Braiding What Matters in Mathematics Education
Jessica Benally is from Tohatchi, New Mexico and is a third year PhD student in the Science and Mathematics Education program at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her BS in Applied Mathematics at the University of New Mexico. Jessica’s research is focused on embodying Navajo epistemology in mathematics curriculum.
Sierra Hampton >> Food Sovereignty in the Chickasaw Nation: A Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Agroecology Approach
Sierra Hampton is Chickasaw and has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MS from Lund University, Sweden. She did her Master’s thesis in Aotearoa on the role of the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ role there, from the perspective of Māori activists. She is interested in Indigenous food and seed sovereignty and traditional food systems. She has been engaged in the food system as a farmer, seed keeper, and cook. As a UC Berkeley doctoral student, she combines agroecology and Indigenous knowledge to analyze challenges to Chickasaw food sovereignty and support food system revitalization.
Clare Kearns >> Indigenous Medea: Wesley Enoch’s Response to the Classical Tradition
Clare Kearns is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Classics at Brown University. She works on the 21st century reception of Greek tragedy, especially in feminist, queer, and postcolonial contexts. More broadly, Clare is interested in translation studies, gender and sexuality in antiquity, and Hellenistic poetry. She holds Australian citizenship and will happily talk to you about the reception of classical texts in Australian literature, which is a burgeoning interest of hers.
Jane Komori >> Fishing for Tin Cans: Confluences of Japanese Canadian, Settler, and Indigenous Histories in the Fraser River Delta
Jane Komori is a PhD candidate in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research is concerned with Japanese Canadian knowledges to do with food, land, and “nature.” She is especially interested in what these knowledges offer in terms of a critique of the settler colonial, capitalist contexts in which they were produced. Jane’s dissertation therefore unfolds through investigations of cultural practices and labor histories that relate groups of immigrants and settlers to Indigenous peoples, people to land, and culture to nature.
Amrit Justin Trewn >> Afro-Indian Collaboration in the Early-19th Century Lower Great Lakes: Conditions, Uses, and Limits
Amrit Justin Trewn is from Detroit, homelands of the Anishinaabeg (Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples) and Wendat. Their dissertation, “Ecologies in Resistance: Constellations of Black Freedom and Native Sovereignty in the Nineteenth Century Lower Great Lakes,” develops our understanding of Black and Native affinities in the context of state-formation and capitalist development. He is currently a doctoral candidate in American studies at New York University.
cacophony >> the dissonant overlapping of voices and narratives
Alejandro Echeverria >> “Toda Oaxaca es Gay”: The Production of Oaxaca’s Queer Geographies
Alejandro Echeverria is a PhD candidate in anthropology at University of California, Riverside. His primary research centers on the relationships between race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship and how these relationships inform the production of a national identity and sense of dis/belonging. He is the recipient of the Graduate Mentor Research Program Fellowship and is part of the Health Disparities Research Center at UC Riverside. He has co-produced the “Unconditional Love” podcast and is currently experimenting with soundscapes as digital storytelling. His current work focuses on how discourses of sexual diversity influence the ways queer individuals understand and practice citizenship in Mexico.
Nicole Ku‘uleinapuananiolikoawapuhimelemeleolani Furtado >> Hyperreal Immersions: Las Vegas and the Fulfillment of Capitalistic Desire
Nicole Kuʻuleinapuananiolikoawapuhimelemeleolani Furtado is Kanaka Maoli from Nānākuli, Hawaiʻi and a PhD student in English with a Designated Emphasis in Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She received her BA in English from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and her MA in English at UC Riverside. Her current research interests are Indigenous Studies, Speculative Fiction, Digital Art, Disability Studies, Science & Technology Studies, and Decolonial Futurities.
Connor Hamm >> Destination Plantation
Connor Hamm is a PhD candidate in the History of Art at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is writing a dissertation on modern art in the US South after the Civil War. Working at the intersection of environmental history, Black studies, and postcolonial theory, he is interested in artistic and cultural engagements with discrepant forms of modernization and globalization. He is currently a Doctoral Fellow in American Art through the ACLS/Luce Foundation, and has held positions at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and has written for Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail, and other publications.
Jane Henderson, Hannah Ramer, and Rebecca Walker >> Reflections on the Settler City: Property, Public Land and Decolonial Futures in Minneapolis
Jane Henderson is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research explores Black and Native claims to land in her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Hannah Ramer recently defended her dissertation at the University of Minnesota, examining urban agriculture, policy, and justice in Minneapolis. She lives in south Minneapolis with her spouse and toddler, as uninvited guests on Dakota lands.
Rebecca Walker is a PhD candidate in Urban Planning at the University of Minnesota. She studies the history and future of urban environmental planning in the context of white supremacy and settler colonialism.
Elaine Stokes >> Landscape as Palimpsest: Uncovering the Narratives of Bdote/Fort Snelling
Elaine Stokes, PLA, is an educator and landscape architect who studies river infrastructure through an ethnographic lens. This research is situated within the theoretical frameworks of water rights, Indigenous sovereignty, infrastructural history, landscapes of memory, and contemporary territorial landscape practice. Elaine currently teaches at Rhode Island School of Design and is a Doctor of Design candidate at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Previously, she earned her BA in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and her Master’s in Landscape Architecture from the GSD, where she graduated with distinction.