LFC Seminar - Resilience, Rupture, Resistance: Climate Justice & Global Subjectivity

LFC Seminar - Resilience, Rupture, Resistance: Climate Justice & Global Subjectivity

Principal speaker

Dr Kathleen Birrell


This paper draws upon my research to date, and its concern with literary and juridical expressions of indigeneity, to investigate the positioning of indigeneities within the fluid juridical and political landscape of the Anthropocene and the broader construction of global subjectivities in this context. Global narratives of climate change, dominated by the universalising imperatives of economic and scientific epistemological frameworks, are comprehensively articulated in recent international agreements. These agreements unequivocally define the goals and challenges posed by climate change and prescribe the construction of "adaptive" and "resilient" subjects, suited to the pursuit of "sustainable development". Aspirational yet persistently anthropocentric, these documents establish relationships between "sustainable development", an impossible "ideal of resilience" and the construction of "resilient" subjects in neoliberal discourses, and an associated and disproportionate burden of adaptation. While existing climate change regimes support these modes of governance, the utilitarian and "deculturing" narrative informing these agreements and regimes has been contested. In this paper, I will engage with a Foucaultian biopolitical analysis to consider the extent to which indigeneities are encapsulated within this rendering of the "adaptive' and "resilient" neoliberal subject of the Anthropocene, "strategies of rupture" to this narrative, and modes of resistance in the pursuit of climate justice.

About the speaker

Dr Kathleen Birrell is a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow at Melbourne Law School. Her research is strongly interdisciplinary, encompassing critical legal theory, philosophy of law, and law and literature, as well as environmental and climate change law, human rights law, Indigenous peoples and the law, property law, and native title. Her postdoctoral project investigates intersections between the global imperatives of climate change governance, human rights, and the resistant narratives of Indigenous peoples. She completed a PhD (Law) at Birkbeck, University of London, and has taught at Birkbeck and The University of Melbourne. She is the author of Indigeneity: Before and Beyond the Law (Routledge, 2016).

About this seminar

Kathleen will present her Law Futures Seminar at the Griffith Law School (N61) Nathan campus with a videolink to the Griffith Law School (G36) Gold Coast campus. When registering for this seminar, please indicate in your email which campus you will attend.

Event categories

RSVP on or before Friday 22 June 2018 , by email lawfutures@griffith.edu.au

Event contact details

Session 1

Session 2