Coloniality and the carbonscape: reflections on white settlement and sociogeny from inside a cookie factory.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


This chapter takes its inspiration, and some of its form, from Sylvia Wynter’s theorization of the ‘sociogenic principle’. Wynter develops Franz Fanon’s famous invocation of ‘sociogeny’ into an analytic principle that troubles the boundaries between social and physical explanation. Transformed meanings transform matter which transforms self-experience. Meaning and matter, word and world are co-implicate relational ontologies. Social explanation becomes, then, an onto-poetics from which sociality emerges. Critique is, thus, not a reductionist unidirectional explanation, but bi-directional, a spiraling, creative emergence which encompasses material structures of feeling as feelings of material structure. Though they resonate differently, feeling and structure, no longer inside and outside, are part of the same thoughtful sensibility; world and thought are not separated by an unbridgeable chasm, but sociogenically inter-related. The following chapter stories particular processes of embodied authorial memory, becoming, feeling, and thought through remembered and retold imaginaries of sociogenic: atmosphere, dissipation, solution, and process: coloniality, place, carbon, consumption, history, and ruin. The argument is oblique and explores immersion within material, and thus sociogenic structures of thought and experience. Structures, feelings, and imaginaries are enrolled within a premise of ‘earth-writing’ (geo-graphing) memory, naming, constitutional change, promises made and broken, boundaries erected, differences wrought, and possibilities played.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeelings of Structure: Explorations in Affect
EditorsKaren Engle, Yoke Sum Wong
Place of PublicationMontreal
PublisherMcGill-Queens University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-0773554528
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2018


  • carbonscape, coloniality, feelings, immersion, settlement, sociogeny


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