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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
All Earth

For a Special Issue on
A decolonial turn in the study of Earth and its history…

Manuscript deadline
31 October 2022

Cover image - All Earth

Special Issue Editor(s)

Cassius Morrison, UCL
[email protected]

Zakhele Nkosi, University of Pretoria
[email protected]

Lisa White, University of California, Berkeley

Paul Upchurch, UCL

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A decolonial turn in the study of Earth and its history…

The study of the Earth and its history has had many epistemic changes from both within and from the ‘outside’, however difficult it may be to delineate that dichotomy. These epistemic ‘upheavals’ have come in various shapes and sizes; some as old and as overt as the shift from geocentrism to heliocentrism; and some as recent and as ‘discrete’ as the slow gender parity in the classrooms and labs in which the teaching and learning of the sciences occur. The very attempt to reflect on the true history of the study of the Earth (Sciences) and its crucial paradigm shifts is marred in problems. Do we start with the false attribution of Aristotle as the ‘father’ of modern science, a title he earned for his alleged invention of the ‘scientific method’, and thus snubbing Al-Hasan Ibn Al-Haytham? Or do we take a dark detour in how the study of evolution was co-opted by eugenics?

The study of Earth and its history has always occurred in the context of our complex and collective histories. As a result, it has been shaped by those key local and global moments, which have turned the very trajectory of the study. The modern context of eurocentrism and post-coloniality has had, and continues to have, untold effects on the study of deep time and Earth’s processes. And what of the future?

This special issue welcomes transdisciplinary manuscripts that can help unpack the history of coloniality and its impact on the Earth Sciences. Moreover, how do we make a decolonial turn within that space? Or is it even necessary for us to make such a turn?

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Geoethics and its grounding beyond Euro-American philosophical thought.
  • How has the study of (Economic) Geology been shaped and limited by the (neo)colonial grip and exploitation of geological resources in the Global South by the Global North (and its proxies) – a comment on the so-called ‘resource curse’.
  • Climate change mitigation, its intersection with global inequality and strategies for overcoming the (us-them) bias.
  • Teaching and learning the earth sciences and palaeontology from the ‘centre’ vs the ‘margins’ – how to bridge that gap?
  • The impact of colonialism and discrimination on our understanding of The History of Life on Earth, in addition to the implications for predicting climate and ecosystem changes.
  • Limitations of our current understanding of Palaeobiota, evolution and the associated narrative being skewed by non-natural biases.
  • How the lack of discrimination could enrich the Geosciences. How do we get there from here? And what lessons can we learn from the gender equality movement in the academy?
  • The impact, effects, and implications on etymology for the current and future generations.

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