Juicy Carcasses, Abundant Futures: Detritus as Nourishment’

-3 credits

‘Juicy Carcasses, Abundant Futures: Detritus as Nourishment’ is a course that challenges creative practitioners to listen to the wisdom of non-human detritivores, and transform that which is discarded. We will explore how those of us in the margins can reconstruct new worlds from the still active, reeking remains of (post)coloniality. Thinking through the work of scholars like Homi Bhabha and his idea of the Third Space, Fred Moten and his idea of Noise and fugitivity, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ radical lessons from marine mammals, this course calls us to cease our resisting of dominant hegemonies with the tools of their making, and instead find each other outside of the binary of oppression/resistance, within a space of our own invention. As we chew and pick at these juicy carcasses of oppressive systems, we will dream new futures, new worlds, new practices, all the while drawing inspiration from the emergent practices of non-human detritivores. The central conceptual framework of this class is that of the whale fall. When a whale dies and sinks to the ocean floor, it attracts non-human detritivores from unfathomable distances, which then give rise to multiple generations of non-human detritivores over scores of years. These detritivores have been known to collaborate rather than compete for this abundant resource. Over time, they evolve to specialize and thrive on the specific kinds of nourishment the
individual whale provides. A whale falls in this course. We gather, collaborate, revel in its abundance, build our own worlds, and emerge. ‘Juicy Carcass, Abundant Futures: Detritus as Nourishment’ invites practitioners with relationships to (post)colonial thinking, (post)human thinking, interdisciplinary thinkers, grievers, queers, worldbuilders, artists from all disciplines, writers, biologists, and those working with discarded materials, rot, non-humans, systemic decay, and abundance. Learning will be through
readings, screenings, independent assignments, interdisciplinary artmaking, writing, and critiques.