Land in Libraries
Toward a Materialist Conception of Education
Editors: Lydia Zvyagintseva and Mary Greenshields
Expected: July 17, 2023
Bless us, these lands, said the rememberer. These lands aren’t our lands. These lands aren’t your lands. We are this land. – Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States, An American Sunrise: Poems, W.W. Norton, 2019, p.108.
The question of land is largely absent in libraries. Deeply committed to the neoliberal project as a guiding ideology of the profession, libraries exist at once as ahistorical, atheoretical, and landless institutions in their understanding of themselves, their work, and their impact on people. This edited volume seeks to contribute to the growing body of work on libraries and the anthropocene, decolonization, and climate change through writing in theory and practice. We are interested in both non-metaphorical (actual, material) as well as conceptual perspectives on land. We are interested in centering land as a foundational category underpinning social relations, as a necessity for the function and reproduction of capitalism, and as a place where we work and learn together. Fundamentally, we live on the land and how we live in relation to the land matters to how we understand ourselves as individuals and a society.
Lydia Zvyagintseva is a settler librarian and immigrant from Kharkiv, Ukraine. She is currently the Head of Digital Scholarship Services at the University of Alberta. She holds graduate degrees in French Language and Literature, Digital Humanities, and Library and Information Studies, and has published on data, labour, and refusal. She has worked in public and academic libraries, including the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and the Edmonton Public Library. She lives in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 territory.
Mary Greenshields is a settler librarian and doctoral student from the lands of the Stoney, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Niitsitapii, Cree, and Métis. Her research interests exist at the intersections of feminism, love studies, critical pedagogy and librarianship, and settler-Indigenous relations. She lives and works in Florence, Italy.