National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC)
1 Park Place, Suite 300
Annapolis, MD 21401
Toward the Abolitionist Commons: Abolition Ecology and the Racialized Politics of Property
Seminar presented by Nik Heynen, Professor of Geography at University of Georgia.
To date, property politics related to common property regimes, or “the commons”, has been dominated by European notions of property relations. In contrast to this tradition, this paper builds upon several specific threads of thinking to take questions of the racialization of the commons more seriously. More specifically, I will consider how abolitionist politics that helped bring about emancipation for African-Americans can still help think through property politics. I will use this framing to explore a cross-site research project extending between Atlanta and Sapelo Island, Georgia. These two sites share a common historical connection dating back to the U.S. Civil War and Sherman’s March to the Sea. Both are currently experiencing upheavals in property relations that can befit from a deeper understanding of the “abolitionist commons”.
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The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, funded through an award to the University of Maryland from the National Science Foundation, is a research center dedicated to accelerating data-driven scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems. Visit us online at www.sesync.org and follow us on Twitter @SESYNC.