Shadowing Places: Toxic Geographies and Multispecies Justice

A/Prof. Donna Houston1

1Macquarie University, North Ryde, Australia


Haraway once wrote that there will be “no nature without justice”. On a planet burdened and shaped by the uneven geographies and accumulative violence of climate change, mass extinction, and ‘chemical regimes of living’ (Murphy 2008), justice matters to lives of historically situated humans and nonhumans.  This paper explores the entangled histories of environmental racism and justice and its continued significance for multinatural territorial struggles and materially contested narrations of the Anthropocene.  The discussion focuses on processes of shadowing places – the rendering of life as pollutable under racialized and gendered capitalism and the possibilities raised by alter-politics that are reimagining abundant futures beyond Western logics of extraction and single ontology articulations of environmental justice.


Donna Houston is an urban and cultural geographer in the Department of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University. Her research explores the intersections of urban political ecology and environmental justice in the Anthropocene; cultural dimensions of climate change; toxic landscapes and bodies; spaces of extinction, and planning in the ‘more-than-human’ city.  She is particularly interested in how cultural methodologies such as storytelling, visual methods and memory-work can be used to address current social and environmental challenges.


The Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) is the principal body representing geographers and promoting the study and application of geography in Australia. It was founded in 1958 and since then has promoted, supported and defended Australian geography.

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