Invasive Species


Occupying Nature: Fishing for Meaning in the Asian Carp,” Transforming Anthropology 22:1 (April 2014)

Selection from Yousuf Al-Bulushi’s introductory comments to the special issue of Transforming Anthropology, “Spaces and Times of Occupation”:

Sigma Colón forces us to think about the links between the workplace as a site for doing battle and the broader environment. In other parlance, she raises the question of how to tie together the “red” and “green” politics of the labor and environmental movements, respectively. In decentering an all too-often anthropocentric conversation about crisis, Colon asks why the problem of species invasions—in her case, the example of the “Asian” carp occupying the river systems throughout the United States—is tied to specific imaginations of racialized geographies. Just think of the older, but more obvious, case of the purportedly more aggressive “Africanized killer bees” invading the United States from Mexico. And although Colon does not raise the issue directly in her piece, she leaves us with the lingering question about the generalized xenophobia that has emerged in the wake of the anti-austerity struggles in Europe and the inability of the Occupy Wall Street movement to forge lasting ties with the prior immigrants rights movement in the United States (an important part of the pre-2011 genealogy of the American Left that Hannon traces for us).

Related Talks:

“Fishing for Meaning in the Asian Carp Occupation of Nature,” Left Forum, Pace University, New York, June 7-9, 2013.

“Spaces and Times of Occupation,” Critical Encounters: Conversations in American Studies, Yale Working Group on Globalization and Culture, Yale University, April 24, 2013.