Sophia Doyle

Doctoral Fellow

 

Campus Am Neuen Palais
Am Neuen Palais 10
Building 1, Room 0.15
14469 Potsdam
Germany

 

consulting hours
by appointment only

Dissertation Project

Towards metabolic justice: exploring racial capitalism’s extractive frontiers in bodies and the land

"Where is Imperialism? Just look into your plates when you eat.” - Thomas Sankara


This project interrogates the development of industrial agriculture in the trajectory of racial capitalism and histories of chattel slavery, colonialism, empire and militarisation. As the economy of exhaustion of racial capitalism continues to ‘mine human energy to death’ (Vergès) the globalised industrial food system continues with the logics and methods of plantocratic extraction, devastating human and planetary health. Drawing on critical perspectives from political economy, political ecology and soil science I examine the material disruptions to metabolic relations, nutrient and waste cycles through which humans are embedded in ecologies as they are instituted by colonial agricultural production, and ask what repair and justice mean when understood on the bodily and molecular level.

Informed by the radical demands made by peasant, Indigenous and landworkers’ movements and community-led actions against extraction and environmental racism I want to examine how we can build internationalist solidarities between and across movements and geographies for food sovereignty, land justice and ecological reparations that are necessary for liberatory and abolitionist futures.


Biography

I am a researcher, writer and organiser with roots in rural Bavaria and Ireland. Combining my disciplinary background in Postcolonial Studies with my practical training in regenerative agriculture my work focuses on the political ecology and economy of food and farming and the role of agriculture for the ongoing project of colonialism and its embedded global capital relations.

I am committed to landworkers’ struggles for food sovereignty and land access everywhere, and the abolition of the agro-industrial complex as a crucial project and necessary step in global struggles against colonialism and capitalism. I am active in various self-organised learning spaces, reading groups and activist collectives in Berlin, London and online. I’m always excited about collaborative research and movement building across different contexts and geographies; you can connect with me on twitter at catastrophia3.


Research Interests

  • Political Ecology
  • Critical Geographies
  • Food Systems, Foodways and Agriculture
  • Environmental and Reparative Justice
  • Agrobiodiversity and Soil Care
  • Anti-colonial, anti-racist and class struggles and histories of organising on the land

Publications

(forthcoming) “‘Saving the Knowledge Helps to Save the Seed”: Generating a Collaborative Seed Data Project in London.” Invited chapter with Katie Dow in Digital Ecologies edited collection (eds. Jonathon Turnbull, Henry Anderson Elliott and Adam Searle). Manchester University Press. 2023.


Conference Papers

“Storytelling as Political Praxis - Unsettling the Protagonist in Environmentalist Imagination and Organising.” SHSU PRSS Earth(ly) Matters Conference, 10 August 2020. Online, Sheffield, United Kingdom.

“Dreaming against the End of the World: Challenging catastrophic thinking in the contemporary environmentalist imagination.” ASLE-UK PRSS Out of the Blue Conference, 2 September 2020. Online, Sheffield, United Kingdom.


Panel Discussions and Workshops

(upcoming) Chair: “Prisons, Policing and Land Struggles.” Workshop at the 2023 Oxford Real Farming Conference, 4-6 January 2023. Oxford, United Kingdom.

Chair: “Freedom is a place" - exploring radical place-making through feminist abolitionist geography.” Workshop with Jas Wenzel at ‘Shocks, Turmoil and Transformations: Feminist Geographic Perspectives.’ Symposium Feminist Geographies. 28-30 April 2022. Berlin.

Chair: “Imagining liberatory (counter)logistix.” Panel discussion at DOPE12 Conference. Political Ecology Working Group, University of Kentucky, 25 March 2022. Online.

Discussant: ‘Imagining and Planning for Seedy Futures.’ DOPE12 Conference. Political Ecology Working Group, University of Kentucky, 21 March 2022. Online.

Discussant: ‘Community Seed Forum: Rural and Urban Seed Initiatives.’ Seed Gathering 2021. Seed Sovereignty UK & Ireland Programme, 24 October 2021. Online.

Discussant: “Bringing Communities Together Through Seed: A Discussion and Planning Session for Community Seed Banks, Seed Libraries and Seed Initiatives Around the UK.” 2021 Oxford Real Farming Conference, 11 January 2021. Online, Oxford, United Kingdom.


Other Engagements

Co-director: London Freedom Seed Bank

Organising Collective: Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference, University of Kentucky.