WOSC 2016




About Work of Settler Colonialism 2016:

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

Panel 1: Theoretical foundations and persistent tensions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc1WrMbVPzs&feature=youtu.be

Anne Spice, Chair

Sean M. Kennedy, “Right to Work? Labor, Political Economy, and U.S. Settler Misrecognition”

Tamar Blickstein, “Indians from ‘Elsewhere’: Imagined Geographies of Native Origin in Argentina”

Sam Markwell, “Where’s the Capitalism in Settler Colonialism? Contextualizing Indigenous Appropriations of Capitalist Political Economy”

Dana Francisco Miranda, “Wretched Spaces: Manichean Divisions in the Arendtian Republic”

Panel 2: Solidarity in Practice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbfYa2et5fo

Chair, Andrew Bard Epstein

Annelies Cooper, Thania Vega, Devin Clancy, Karl Gardner, “Union Solidarity with Indigenous Struggles: Reflections on CUPE 3903’s First Nations Solidarity Working Group”

Courtney Lewis, “Economic Colonialism in the United States: Contemporary Strategies and Challenges”

Craig Fortier, “(Re)Claiming the Commons in a Context of Settler Colonialism”

Panel 3: Migrant Workers & Racialized Labor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofQXBWLyufU

Chair, Antonina G. Woodsum

Samantha Spady, “Limits to Labour Solidarity in Alberta’s Oil Patch: Nationalism, Race, and Belonging”

Tyler Jackson Rogers, “The Work of Indigenous Enslavement in Settler Colonial New England”

Adrian Smith, “Re-Working Land, Labour and Law in Migration and Settler Colonialism”

Keynote Roundtable https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kzZ1yljImg


J. Kehaulani Kauanui

Dean Saranillio

Sandy Grande

Glen Coulthard

Audra Simpson


Anne Spice (CUNY Graduate Centre)

Andrew Bard Epstein (Yale University)

Antonina Griecci Woodsum (Columbia University)


Graduate Center, City University of New York

Committee on Globalization and Social Change, CUNY GC

Advanced Research Collaborative, CUNY GC


Yale Group for the Study of Native America

Department of Sociology, Columbia University

Department of Anthropology, Columbia University

Department of History, Columbia University

Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University

Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University

Center for American Studies, Columbia University

Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC), CUNY GC

Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, CUNY GC