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Lecture_Nik Heynen

October 4, 2021 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

No cost
photo of Nik Heynen

Our 2021-2022 Lecture Series continues on Oct. 4, 5:30 p.m. ET, with an in-person lecture featuring Nik Heynen, Distinguished Research Professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Georgia. Heynen will present “Re-Earthing from the Sea: Oyster-tecture and Abolition,” which will center the politics of “re-earthing” Sapelo Island, a term used by the late Cornelia Walker Bailey to convey abolitionist place-making.

In the largest/most intact remaining Gullah/Geechee community left in the United States, Heynen and others have worked to establish an agricultural revival of heritage crops as a strategy to save Black land from development, create employment and make Saltwater Geechee culture more visible on the landscape. Amidst simultaneous threats from development and sea level rise, they have started to recognize the long history of aquaculture, and especially oyster shell utilization on Sapelo, going back more than 4,000 years through Indigenous residents’ innovative uses of oyster shell.  The researchers are working to not only mobilize abolitionist politics to stave off cultural genocide on Sapelo Island, but to bring abolitionist politics to other conversations about “oyster-tecture” happening along the east coast of the United States. Heynen and Maurice Bailey are co-authoring the research.

Get to know Nik Heynen

Dr. Nik Heynen is a Distinguished Research Professor in the University of Georgia’s Department of Geography. His research focuses on political ecology and political economy, especially as focused on race and social reproduction. He has done research on the intersections of urbanization, environmental and racial justice in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Atlanta and New Orleans. Heynen is a co-PI on the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER Project looking at intersections of sea level rise and economic development within the largest most intact remaining Gullah/Geechee community in the U.S. Learn more about Heynen.

The lecture is open to the public. It is funded by the Robert B. Church Memorial Lecture Fund. Can’t attend in person? Check out the lecture live.

Visitors are asked to follow all current guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health of our Volunteer family and the surrounding communities remains our top priority. Due to COVID-19, events in our college are subject to change.  Currently, masks are required to be worn in most indoor spaces on campus; please familiarize yourself with the current COVID-19 protocols on campus. For last-minute changes to this event, check this page as well as the college’s Facebook page.



October 4, 2021
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
No cost