Archive for the ‘Talks’ Category

“A plantation can be a commons”: Re‐Earthing Sapelo Island through Abolition Ecology

May 25, 2020 Comments off

Heynen, N. (2020). “A plantation can be a commons”: Re‐Earthing Sapelo Island through Abolition Ecology. Antipode.

This paper is based on the 2018 Neil Smith Lecture presented at the University of St Andrews. It considers the plantation past/futures of Sapelo Island, Georgia, one of the Sea Islands forming an archipelago along the US Southeastern coast. I work through the abolitionist efforts of the Saltwater Geechee’s who have resided there since at least 1803 to better understand how we can mobilise an emancipatory politics of land and property and to produce commons that work to repair and heal the violence done through enslavement and ongoing displacement. I weave together a series of historical threads to better situate linked ideas of abolition democracy and abolition geography, and to extend the notion of abolition ecology as a strategic notion to connect Eurocentric based political ecologies with the emancipatory tradition of Black geographies.

AESOP 5th Conference on Sustainable Food Planning

October 31, 2013 Comments off

Despite having decided to pull back on travel this year, I could not resist an invitation to give a talk at the AESOP 5th Conference on Sustainable Food Planning in Montpellier, France in October.  I gave one of the bookend talks (the closing talk was given by Bob Gottleib, which was a real treat given his pioneering role in politicizing food studies).  As far as I could tell one of my main contributions (not necessarily a positive contribution mind you), was causing trouble for the translators who had a challenging time dealing with my “not so calm, not so immobile” talk.  Selfishly, I learned a great deal about the state of urban planning and urban food system planning, especially in western European contexts, and used the occasion to develop my own ideas about “abolition ecology” a bit more through my own talk.

Here is the program:

Flyer BAT2 Page 1


IPEE, Foodshare event and Black Creek Farm

June 22, 2013 Comments off

I just had an absolutely great time teaching the International Political Economy and Ecology Summer School at York University in Toronto over the last two weeks with Liette Gilbert and 31 fantastic students.

I’ve long been aware of the IPEE and pretty blown away by the cast of folks who had taught it before, but think we lived up to the expectations.

Poster Hunger Politics v4

Here are pictures from two of the highlights.

First, we had a public event at Toronto’s Foodshare with Utcha Sawyers from Food Justice/FoodShare, Damion Adjodha from Black Creek Community Farm, Anan Lololi from AfriCan FoodBasket, Lauren Baker from Toronto Food Policy Council, and  Melissa Addison Webster from Put Food in the Budget.


Then, we had a class at Black Creek Farm and discussed popular education and the ideas of Paulo Freire and Myles Horton under a large shade tree in the middle of the farm while sitting on stumps.   It was awesome.

Black Creek

40th Anniversary of Social Justice and the City

May 4, 2013 Comments off

I was excited to have been able to talk at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of David Harvey’s Social Justice and the City.  I talked about ‘The Biographies of Three Editions”  (essentially how each of the three editions I own has impacted my thinking at different times).


Urban Forests and Political Ecologies in Toronto

April 21, 2013 Comments off

Tested out some new ideas about “Abolition Ecology” with talk at the Urban Forests & Political Ecologies conference in Toronto, April 18-20th, 2013.  The conference was hosted by the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University; Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto; and the Humber Arboretum & Centre for Urban Ecology.  It was a well organized and interesting event.  Thanks to Adrina Bardekjian and Sadia Butt for their efforts as well as other organizers.


Urban Political Ecology is alive and well at the LA AAG

April 10, 2013 Comments off

In response to questions about the state of Urban Political Ecology (UPE), my colleague Jenn Rice and I organized a series of four really good sessions to sus out the health of this emerging sub-disciplinary approach.  The good news is that in my opinion the presenters showed without a doubt that UPE is alive and well.  Here are links to the sessions for the curious:

Urban Political Ecology Redux I

Urban Political Ecology Redux II

Urban Political Ecology Redux III

Urban Political Ecology Redux IV

EcoFocus Film Festival panelist for the climate disobedience film Bidder 70

March 23, 2013 Comments off

I had a great time serving as a moderator and commentator on the new documentary Bidder 70 about Tim DeChristopher’s act of climate disobedience at the EcoFocus Film Festival here in Athens.  One of the film’s directors, George Gage (of Gage and Gage Productions), Skyped in and it was really interesting to discuss making the film with him and other audience members.BGEwpDPCcAAtVxG.jpg large