Keynote Address: “Scale and Refuge.”

Claire Colebrook, Penn State University.

“Scale and Refuge”

The concept of climate refugees is becoming increasingly less contentious, but one of the reasons for objecting to its use lies in the broader narrative of politics: if individuals flee hostile environments then – like all refugees – they are the victims of human actions and decisions, and not merely ‘natural’ disasters.  Rather than make an argument for the specificity and validity of climate change refugees, I will argue that refuge from hostile climates constitutes the principle tendency of all politics and political formations.  Less critically, I will argue that this concept of refuge from climate is intrinsic to politics, and allows for a speculative and promising concept of Indigenous thought.

Ronald Moran long

Claire Colebrook is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Penn State University.  She has written books and articles on literary theory, feminist theory, contemporary European philosophy, poetry, visual culture and queer theory.  She is the author of New Literary Histories (Manchester UP, 1997), Ethics and Representation (Edinburgh UP, 1999), Deleuze: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum 1997), Gilles Deleuze (Routledge 2002), Understanding Deleuze (Allen and Unwin 2002), Irony in the Work of Philosophy (Nebraska UP, 2002), Gender (Palgrave 2003), Irony (Routledge 2004), Milton, Evil and Literary History (Continuum 2008), Deleuze and the Meaning of Life (Continuum 2010), and William Blake and Digital Aesthetics (Continuum 2011).  She co-authored Theory and the Disappearing Future with Tom Cohen and J. Hillis Miller (Routledge 2011), and co-edited Deleuze and Feminist Theory with Ian Buchanan (Edinburgh University Press, 2000), Deleuze and History with Jeff Bell (Edinburgh 2008), Deleuze and Gender with Jami Weinstein (Edinburgh UP 2009) and Deleuze and Law (Palgrave) with Rosi Braidotti and Patrick Hanafin.  She is the co-editor, with Tom Cohen, of a series of monographs for Open Humanities Press: Critical Climate Change. She recently completed two books on Extinction for Open Humanities Press: The Death of the Posthuman, and Sex After Life. She is now completing a book on fragility (of the species, the archive, and the earth).