Blacks Weather, Whites Climate

November 10, 2021 - 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Mark Driscoll
Flyer and Mark Driscoll's image

In this lecture, Mark Driscoll will explore the racialization of fossil capitalism to give a long historical perspective on "Black weathering" i.e., the increased vulnerability and disproportionate impact on people of color of environmental degradation and pandemic illnesses. Beginning with the scientific revolution of Francis Bacon and Robert Boyle, Driscoll argues that techno-scientific interventions inadvertently altered global climate patterns with a focus on the reliance on African enslavement to perpetuate its "advances." He links the use of plantation-enslaved people to dig coal in the Southeast US, to convict leasing after the Civil War to establish the infrastructure of mines, roads, and railroads, leading to the current prison-industrial-climate complex where BIPOC prisoners are forced to work for fossil fuel companies in Louisiana and elsewhere, contributing to their own weathering.

Mark Driscoll is a Professor of East Asian Studies and Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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  • Duke University Center for International and Global Studies
  • John Hope Franklin Center
  • Wednesdays at the Center Series