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Colonialism, Neo-colonialism and Ecology


Global discourses on the distributed responsibility of the current climate crisis often ignore the colonial histories of exploitation that continue to shape our environmental imaginaries. The darker side of Modernity has propagated settler ecologies as the only mode of knowing environments throughout the planet, effacing alternative epistemologies and ontologies.

This line of research is committed to a decolonial critique of the traces of colonialism and neo-colonialism in our ecological imaginaries, suggesting the possibility of relational intersections that allow for what the Indigenous Zapatista movement in Mexico claims is 'a world in which many worlds fit' (Fourth Declaration of the Lacandón Jungle). 

Current projects 

  • The Imperial Herbarium: Plant Imaginaries across the Atlantic in Literature, Art and Film 

    This research aims to bring together scholars from different fields to explore how plants—their naming, taxonomy and portrayal—manifest imperial modes of knowing that legitimise extractivism and monoculture. 
  • Imagining the Latin American Plains: An Ecocritical Study 

    This monograph is the culmination of several years of research into the colonial tropes deployed in Latin American literature to portray a wide range of plains biomes that have set in motion a necropolitics of monoculture throughout the continent. 
  • Decolonial Ecologies in Philosophy of Liberation 

    This research is committed to offering a critical ecology inspired in the works of decolonial philosopher Enrique Dussel, especially through the material principle of his liberation ethics—the suffering corporeality of the oppressed other. 

For further information contact Dr Axel Pérez-Trujillo.  

University student
The lack of engagement with postcolonial and Indigenous perspectives has shaped the Anthropocene discourse to claim the novelty of crisis, rather than being attentive to the historical continuity of dispossession and disaster caused by empire.

Elizabeth M. DeLoughrey
Allegories of the Anthropocene