De-anthropocentrising migrant historiography: more-than-human nodes of empire, diaspora and settler colonialism

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This essay stages a forensic archaeology of the heterogeneous and layered more-than-human multiplicities that are either forgotten or suppressed in the practices of diasporic subject constitution and historiographical memorialisation. My point of departure for this analysis is a family photograph that I proceed to situate within the extra-individual forces of empire and settler colonialism, precisely in order to realise the practice of a decolonising migrant historiography, as a practice that refuses uncritically to reproduce the racialised and asymmetrical relations of power that inscribe diasporic subjects within settler-colonial formations. Simultaneously, my concern is to unsettle the hegemonic order of anthropocentrism. In my desire to disrupt the strictures of this anthropocentric frame, I will mobilise two plants – the agave (Agave americana) and prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) – as the key agents that will enable me to materialise both a decolonising and what I term a de-anthropocentricising migrant historiography.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-98
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • decolonisation
  • de-anthropocentrism
  • More-than-human
  • diaspora
  • transnational identities
  • migrant historiography
  • migrant visual culture


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