COMPOSTING #62: We are here

We are planning this event just after latest IPCC report was released (dire), with large swaths of wildfire still raging where we live and where we don’t (again), and with COVID-19 case counts mounting (again). Some days, it is hard to muster the energy. In spite of all this – and because of all this – we are reconvening (again) to continue this work. Our theme this month is “we are here”: a statement of fact, an admission, a provocation, an affirmation. What can we build and how can we fight, work, and love, from the places/situations/contexts that we are in right now?

Given this is a para-academic reading group with many participants either inside or adjacent to the University, it is a good time to revisit a text we read a year ago – la paperson’s A Third University is Possible. First selected by Mythily Meher for gathering #53: Composting the University, we feel it’s even more urgent now. Those of us within and those outside but proximate to such institutions need to think hard and urgently about how universities and other such powerful institutions can be held accountable for the space they take up and the energy they use, and how our work can direct that energy towards feminist, queer and anti-colonial worlds.

We also want to rigorously reimagine how Universities, themselves in crisis, can be newly leveraged to do what needs to be done. Those of us on the inside will know we are increasingly urged to have industry links in our research and “real world” impact. But before rejecting this idea wholesale or swallowing the neoliberal pill, we want to remind everyone that feminist research has always been linked to industry and always sought to transform unjust industries and revalue the devalued labours that constitute the social. Feminist research has always majorly impacted the real world. But how we do that is constantly changing as the world changes; we need to hack these places again and again together. We are pairing this selection with a presentation by Max Liboiron about making feminist labs (with lots of practical suggestions on anti-colonial tactics) and Evelyn Araluen’s poem “Appendix Australis” from Drop Bear (which engages in a poetic dig at the colonial politics of citation and provokes us to think radically about anti-colonial citation practices).

Lead Composters: Astrida Neimanis & Jennifer Hamilton

When: In Western Canada (Pacific Daylight Saving Time) Tuesday 21st September, 4-5.30pm / In Eastern Australia (Australian Eastern Standard Time GMT+10) Wednesday 22 Sept 9-10:30 am 

Where: WE ARE ONLINE! Join us on ZOOM at:

Required Reading / Listening:

  1. Selections from la paperson, A Third University is Possible: ‘Introduction’, ‘Chapter 2. Land. And the University is Settler Colonial’ and ‘Chapter 3. A Third University Exists Within the First
  2. Presentation by Max Liboiron, What is a Feminist Lab
  3. Evelyn Araluen, “Appendix Australis” from Dropbear (Brisbane: University of Queensland Press, 2021)

For the time pressed: Introduction to la paperson and Araluen’s poem

All welcome. Bring a question or a thought to share. We try to facilitate an inclusive, respectful and participatory zoom conversation for old timers and newcomers alike. We begin by going round introducing ourselves and sharing a brief thought before opening up the conversation.

Image Credit: “Here” by Natasha Wheatland Flickr

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