Environment Seminar Series: 'Anneal this Breath': Reading Glass, Poetics, and Nuclear Genealogies with Yhonnie Scarce in South Australia with Rebecca H. Hogue

When and Where

Wednesday, March 06, 2024 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm


Rebecca H. Hogue


About the Seminar

When the United Kingdom--in partnership with the Australian Government--detonated nuclear weapons on Anangu Pitjantjatjara Country in South Australia from 1952-1963, they did so under the veil of government secrecy. The effects of nuclear radiation, however, could not be contained. Sixty years later, Kokatha and Nukunu artist Yhonnie Scarce’s blown glass yam mushroom cloud and bush banana installations (2016-2023) draw attention to the ramifications of nuclear radiation on her grandfather's Country, particularly nuclearized food environments and Indigenous mortality. In response to her installations, Kokatha poet Ali Cobby Eckermann (2016) and Narungga poet Natalie Harkin’s (2019) wrote ekphrastic lamentations to honor Scarce's commitments to anti-nuclear genealogies. Together these works explore the long history of Indigenous removal in Aboriginal Country and interrogate the material and aesthetic relationships between transhistorical arts and the legacies of radiation empires through place-based knowledges. These intimate archives in conversation, I argue, suggest the ways that nuclear proliferation in the 21st century is felt from the inside out: in food, in body, and in breath.

About the Speaker

Rebecca H. Hogue (she/they) is an ACLS Fellow and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. Rebecca grew up on the island of Oʻahu as a descendent of Scottish immigrants, and writes about empire, militarization, and the environment in the Pacific Islands and Oceania. Her current book project, Nuclear Archipelagos, examines Indigenous women’s anti-nuclear arts and literatures in the Pacific. Her work can be found in The Journal of Transnational American Studies, Amerasia, Critical Ethnic Studies, International Affairs, and elsewhere. In Fall 2024, she will join the faculty at the University of Toronto, St. George, as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English.


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