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Geovani Ramírez’s Talk “Reducing Settler Colonialist Footprints: Karen Zacarías’ ‘Native Gardens,’ Latinx Suburbia, and Indigenized Environmental Justice”

April 11, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

UNC-ECL alum Dr. Geovani Ramírez will give a talk titled “Reducing Settler Colonialist Footprints.” By offering an analysis of Karen Zacarías’ play Native Gardens, using what Dina Gilio-Whitaker refers to as an Indigenized Environmental Justice (EJ) framework, this talk will consider what Latinx environmentalisms, that is environmental practices geared toward exposing environmental hazards and promoting sustainable approaches to ecological relationships, can do to foster healthier environments in suburbia. Native Gardens is set in an affluent neighborhood in Washington D.C. and depicts disputes over land claims and horticultural practices between the Del Valles, a young Latinx couple, and the Butleys, their older Anglo-American neighbors. I conduct an ecocritical analysis of Native Gardens in which I consider the following questions: What kinds of environmental issues does Native Gardens dramatize/present and what spaces does it cultivate? What are the strategies for responding to these ecological concerns, and how does Native Gardens help us envision a space that promotes human and more-than-human life? While acknowledging the play’s merits, the Indigenized Environmental Justice framework I use exposes the play’s settler colonialist tendencies in an ongoing effort to expose and decrease settler colonial footprints, which continue to trample native gardens.


April 11, 2023
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm