Date(s) - October 12, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
LSC 304, Lory Student Center
Lindsey Schneider, Assistant Professor
Department of Ethnic Studies, Colorado State University
This talk takes up the recent controversy over genetically engineered (GE) salmon and the FDA’s approval of these fast-growing “frankenfish” for human consumption. While many believe that GE aquaculture plays a necessary role in the future of food security (especially in a world threatened by increasing climate instability), Indigenous communities throughout the world have raised concerns about the potential impacts of GE food technology on traditional foods and the limited avenues for Indigenous input in the approval processes. At the heart of the issue is a clash between Western scientific values (including risk-based assessment, colonial right of discovery, and intellectual property) and Indigenous epistemologies, which take a more comprehensive approach to the complex relationships between the environment and all living beings inhabiting it. Weaving together issues of ecology, climate change, and tribal sovereignty, this paper historicizes the contemporary GE salmon struggle in the Pacific Northwest within the context of global processes of colonialism, and uses Queer Theory to trouble the arguments GE fish are “unnatural.” Such designations rely on particular tropes of heterolinear reproduction that reinforce Western scientific values. Ultimately, since salmon have been intensively managed by humans for centuries, the debate over GE salmon is part of a much larger conversation about what our relationship with nature can and should look like in a settler colonial context.
About the Speaker:
Lindsey Schneider is an Assistant Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at Colorado State University. An Indigenous (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) feminist scholar, her research focuses on settler colonialism, the environment, and the diverse ways in which Indigenous peoples in the US have navigated a bureaucratic maze of legal barriers and political hurdles in order to sustain their relationships with their land and its inhabitants. She received her PhD in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Riverside, and her BA from Willamette University.