A philosophical discussion with two of Australia’s leading critical theorists, Mary Graham and Ariel Salleh. Salleh’s work on “Holding” – the labour that supports living processes to thrive – frames the initial discussion which goes on to explore concepts such as embodied natures, wide green natures, mothering, and indigenous care of land. Philosopher Mary Graham and sociologist Ariel Salleh talk about ecological politics, indigenous ways of being, workers, women, and life regenerating labours. Graham and Salleh offer work from their land and country-based ethics, and comment on one another’s approaches, noting similarities and differences. The roles of women and questions of gender support the exchange and, given that this seminar is also a celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020, it is fitting that our first philosophy seminar of the year begins with the work of two of our most important female voices. Additionally, this event furthers work begun at the University of Queensland for World Philosophy Day (WPD) in 2019, the Peace and Stability Dialogue Symposium

Ariel Salleh (University of Sydney)

Ariel SALLEH is Visiting Professor in Culture, Philosophy & Environment at Nelson Mandela University (South Africa); a former Senior Fellow in Post-Growth Societies, Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany); and Associate in Political Economy, University of Sydney. Her transdisciplinary writing is seminal to political ecology as an emerging study of Humanity-Nature relations. Her work emphasises the place of reproductive or regenerative labour in the world system. By restoring value to everyday care giving skills and indigenous knowledges, Ariel re-examines social justice and sustainability issues such as climate change and the neoliberal green economy. This work draws on activist experience in anti-nuclear politics, water catchments, biodiversity protection, and support for Asia-Pacific women's eco-sufficient communities. Her sex-gendered critiques of ecosocialism, deep and social ecology, liberal and postmodern feminism, provoke international debate - and she is responding with a multi-volume critique of these discourses. Her embodied materialist theory of meta-industrial labour is developed in Ecofeminism as Politics (1997/2017), Eco-Sufficiency and Global Justice (2009), and some 200 chapters and articles. Ariel serves on several editorial boards and was a Senior Editor of the US journal Capitalism Nature Socialism. She recently co-edited Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary (2019), containing over 100 essays on transformative initiatives for an alternative global future.

Mary Graham (University of Queensland)

Mary GRAHAM is Associate Adjunct Professor in Political Science and International Studies at The University of Queensland and Doctor of the University (QUT). She grew up in South-East Queensland, and is a Kombu-merri person through her father’s heritage and a Wakka Wakka clan through her mother’s heritage.  With a career spanning more than 30 years, Mary has worked across several government agencies, community organisations and universities including:  Department of Community Services, Aboriginal and Islander Childcare Agency, the University of Queensland and the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action. In 1992 Mary also served as the Commissioner for Queensland Corrective Services.  Mary has been a dedicated lecturer with the University of Queensland, teaching Aboriginal history, politics and comparative philosophy.  Mary has also lectured nationally on these subjects, and developed and implemented the core university subjects of ‘Aboriginal Perspectives’, ‘Aboriginal Approaches to Knowledge’ and at the post-graduation level ‘Aboriginal Politics’. Mary has written and published many prominent works, including – publications in the Aboriginal Encyclopaedia, training modules for Cross Cultural Awareness and a host of academic papers.  Mary has worked extensively for the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action, as a Native Title Researcher and was also a Regional Counsellor for the former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.