“‘Carlisle in Reverse’: Returning to a Sustainable Future”

Wednesday, February 9, 2022
4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
“‘Carlisle in Reverse’: Returning to a Sustainable Future”

In Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, Robin Wall Kimmerer argues for the necessity of recuperating indigenous epistemologies in order to ensure a more sustainable and fulfilling human existence. A member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the State University of New York, Kimmerer seeks to counter statesponsored attempts to erase indigenous culture,
such as those typified by institutions like the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Operating for nearly forty years in Pennsylvania, the Carlisle School engaged in the forced enrollment of indigenous children, subjecting them to an assimilationist curriculum under hazardous, and sometimes fatal, living conditions. Against this legacy of erasure, Kimmerer foregrounds the need for a counter education that would reverse the centuries-long effects of Western cultural hegemony. In this roundtable discussion, three panelists will suggest how such a reversal can be implemented and the possibilities and limitations of our, in Kimmerer’s words, “becoming indigenous.”


  • Craig Santos Perez, Associate Professor of English, University of Hawaii at Mānoa

An indigenous Chamoru from Guam, Perez has co-edited five anthologies and authored five books of poetry and the monograph Navigating CHamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, and Decolonization (University of Arizona Press 2022). He is an affiliate faculty with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the Indigenous Politics Program.

Abby Goode, Assistant Professor of Early American Literature, Plymouth State University
Goode teaches courses in American literature, critical theory, food studies, environmental humanities, and writing
and sustainability. She is the author of Agrotopias: An American Literary History of Sustainability (forthcoming from The
University of North Carolina Press 2022).

Erik B. Foley, Director of the Center for the Business
of Sustainability and Instructor in Management and Organization,
Smeal College of Business, Penn State

Foley teaches, consults, speaks, and leads workshops on the role business can play in advancing social justice and environmental conservation. He serves on the board of directors for ClearWater
Conservancy, the Network for Business Sustainability Centres Committee, and the Centre County Solid Waste Advisory

Joe Glinbizzi, Graduate Student in English and Visual Studies, Penn State

Virtual Event