Lecture – Becoming Indigenous: The Ontopolitics of the Anthropocene


Visiting scholar from the University of Lapland is a Political theorist, philosopher, and professor of International Relations. Julian Reid is renowned for his advance of the theory of biopolitics, contributions to cultural theory, postcolonial and post-structural thought, critique of liberalism, and seminal deconstruction of resilience.

Becoming Indigenous: The Ontopolitics of the Anthropocene

Becoming indigenous means different things to different constituencies of indigenous peoples as much as it means different things to different exponents of indigeneity within the West. This seminar examines a dominant trend within indigenous critique and charts its relation to anthropocenic discourses on indigeneity whereby the virtues of indigenous peoples are conceptualized in terms of a capacity to cope with living in a state of perpetual crisis, or what is sometimes known as resilience. This is an image of the indigenous that powerful ac- tors worldwide argue the west has much to learn from and which it must ultimately seek to em-body. Too much of indigenous critique and too many indigenous critics have simply sought to take advantage of this situation and repeat this dominant mantra. There is much in indigeneity and indigenous ways of life that gets left out of this discursive framing. In effect the frame functions to discipline indigenous peoples as much as the western populations who it is said must learn to live within it. Once we step outside this framing and engage with the many different realities of indigenous peoples, indigenous thinking, and indigenous practices, we encounter forms of thought and practice which directly conflict with this disciplinary frame, and which can contribute to an alternative pathway, not just for indigenous peoples, but humans everywhere