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Graduate Student Speaker Series - Katie Fisher

Thursday, September 7 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Erik Jonsson Academic Center (JO), JO 4.122
800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas 75080-3021

Please mark your calendars for this Graduate Student Speaker Series event.

On Thursday, September 7 at 12 p.m. we welcome Katie Fisher.

The title of her presentation is: Concrete Sarcophagus:
Listening to Sink Holes,
Mapping Creative Voids.

Working through the spatial turn in trauma studies, Fisher argues that landscapes must be included in the scope of traumatized entities experiencing slow violence inflicted on ecosystems by urban infrastructure. Rob Nixon defines slow violence as gradual out-of-sight violence dispersed in time and space. Such acts of slow violence, like concreting over wetlands, now manifests in desiccated substrates. Artificial sinkholes form when seeping water carries away the substrates holding up concrete or asphalt. These voids are one visible symptom of a wounded landscape. Taking sinkholes in the colonial cities of Mexico City and New Orleans as case studies Fisher uses counter-cartography practices to map the severed relationships between substrate, water, and living organisms. Prioritizing an other-than-human perspective provides an alternative lens for looking at trauma—one that falls outside of the anthropocentric, event-driven and individual frame of reference that has conventionally underpinned the field.

Katie Fisher is a PhD candidate, Belofsky Fellow, and Research Assistant at the Ackerman Center. She grew up tied to the earth by proximity and occupation on a farm in the Great Plains. That wind-whipped landscape embedded into her being and gave her a deep curiosity for the ways human activities transform and harm landscapes. As a visual artist, she is pursuing a creative dissertation project mapping the connections between ruined ecosystems, urban infrastructure, and traumatic memory. Her current research focuses on the phenomenon of sinkholes in Mexico City and New Orleans as symptoms of traumatized landscapes.


This hybrid event will take place in-person in JO 4.122 and on Teams.

We look forward to seeing you there!

UTD strives to create inclusive and accessible events in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact the event coordinator (listed below) at least 10 business days prior to the event. If you have any additional questions, please email and the AccessAbility Resource Center at

Event Type

Arts & Performances

Target Audience

Faculty & Staff, Graduate Students


Arts & Culture

Arts, Humanities, and Technology, Graduate Education
Contact Information
Kelly Erb
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