What can flooding events teach about multispecies interdependencies and relationality?


Flooding events are something that the children in this Austin, Texas kindergarten classroom are familiar with. The creek adjacent to the school is one site where children witness the impacts of extreme rain storms. “Flooding” and “floods” are words that often echo through this place when children encounter changes in the water level. For example, encounters with a fallen tree bring forward multiple theories about the effects of flooding on the ground (“too spongy”), the roots (“too short”), and the branches (“drank too much creek”). Children also wonder what other kinds of creek life this now fallen tree might support (“a bridge for the deer to cross the creek”). These minor, everyday encounters seem to engage with multispecies interdependencies. We wonder, how might our creek pedagogies further engage the more-than-human effects of flooding? What can flooding events teach us about multispecies interdependencies? How might responding to flooding events enact practices of radical relationality with the more-than-human world?

TallBear, K. (2013). Beyond life/not life: A feminist-Indigenous reading of cryopreservation, interspecies thinking, and the new materialisms. Lecture presented at University of California, Los Angeles, Center for the Study of Women. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkUeHCUrQ6E