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Speaker Series: Body Burdens: Toxic Endurance in the French Atlantic

Monday, October 26, 2015
12:00 AM
1014 Tisch Hall

For the past half century, anglophone toxicologists and environmental activists have used the term “body burden” to describe the accumulation of harmful substances present in human and non-human bodies. In recent years, these burdens have been incorporated into a popular narrative in Martinique about the origins of gender transgression and same-sex desire, which has shifted to include a story about their relationship to bodily contamination by a pesticide once used widely on the island’s banana plantations. This talk investigates the relationship of racialized and gendered bodies to their environment in Martinique via a theorization of the accretive effects of colonial violence.