In this session, we will explore how settlers utilize the political economies of literacies, semiotics, and rhetorics to produce an excessive image of themselves as a savior of the world destined to bring about the world’s salvation, progress, and development, manufacture images of empty landscapes from which inhabiting bodies vanish and/or disappear, and codify a modern/colonial system of ideas, images, and ends. We will reflect on how the idea of race and logic of domination, management, and control, undergirding this epistemological project and system, have been sold and imported, purchased and shared-in, and expanded and/or disputed in the rhetorical market of cultural texts across three tempo-localities: Texas, Utah, and Washington. And we will contend with the consequences: the colonization of land, “resources,” people, and knowledge, understanding, and being. We will then consider the utility of a rhetorical, ecological, and decolonial perspective and lens and the analytic task of unsettling the settled ideas land was either waiting to be discovered or up for grabs to be owned, that “resources” by divine and/or natural right were awaiting extraction and exploitation, and that certain people are dispensable by divine and/or natural designs.
This event is part of the Undergraduate Research Education Series, which offers educational events on topics of interest to undergraduate student researchers and their faculty mentors. These events are open to all and are designed specifically with undergraduate students in mind. For a full schedule, check out https://our.utah.edu/events/ures/