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Slow seminar no. 22

Discussion of the book "The Back of the Turtle" by Thomas King

2016.03.15 | Mia Korsbæk

Date Mon 09 May
Time 16:45 19:30
Location Bioscience, building 1540, room K33 (in the basement). Ny Munkegade 114, 8000 Aarhus

We are pleased to invite you to our next slow seminar on Monday,  May 9, 16.45 at Bioscience, building 1540, room K33 (in the basement). Ny Munkegade 114, 8000 Aarhus C. Please note if you arrive after 17.00 the doors are locked.  

McGill anthropologist Janelle Baker has kindly agreed to kick off our discussion of a novel written by Native American author Thomas King, The Back of the Turtle.  Janelle describes the novel as follows:

"The Back of the Turtle" (2014) is by Cherokee-Greek author Thomas King, who also wrote the important non-fiction work "The Inconvenient Indian" (2012). King is known for writing in the genre of "postmodern trickster novels," in which he takes up creation stories and oral traditions and applies them to current environmental and political issues facing indigenous peoples in North America. "The Back of the Turtle" is King's latest book and is about a First Nations scientist, Gabriel Quinn, who developed a defoliant product for a multinational chemical company that caused "the ruin," an accidental poisoning of a creek and First Nations community in British Columbia. The book begins with Quinn arriving in the now deserted coastal community with the intention of killing himself in the ocean, but there are other things in store for him. This book's characters discover the potential of unintentional design on anthropogenic landscapes, and so is an obvious fit for AURA participants and friends. 

I know participants in our seminar in both Denmark and California have been interested in work that decolonizes Anthropocene discussions, and perhaps this work will help us.  The novel is thick in pages, but Janelle assures us that it is a quick read, with big print.  For California participants, Andrew Mathews has ordered copies at the Literary Guillotine.  For Denmark participants, we ask you to buy the novel online, whether as a book or as an electronic file.  See the information below.


I look forward to seeing all of you on May 9. Please let Mia know if you plan on attending so that we may organize sandwiches and coffee.  



You can buy at Stakbogladen’s webshop as an e-book: www.stakbogladen.dk/e-boeger/ for 237,08 kr.


The Back of the Turtle - Thomas King - eBook


This is Thomas King’s first literary novel in 15 years and follows on the success of the award-winning and bestselling The Inconvenient Indian and his...