Digital and Environmental Erotics

Reflections on the 42nd American Indian Workshop


  • James Mackay European University Cyprus



The 2021 American Indian Workshop, conducted online due to the pandemic, highlighted the challenges and opportunities of virtual academic conferences. Centered on the theme of the erotic, as conceptualized by Audre Lorde, the conference grappled with maintaining meaningful engagement in a digital format. Key concerns included the environmental impact of traditional conferences, with a focus on reducing academia's carbon footprint. This shift to online events was driven by the urgent need for sustainability, especially relevant to Indigenous Studies given the disproportionate effects of global heating on Indigenous communities. The conference also addressed inclusivity issues, challenging the traditional conference model's accessibility for various groups, including those facing financial, physical, and social barriers.

The conference employed innovative formats to enhance online interaction, such as shorter presentations and randomized discussion groups, fostering deeper engagement and collaboration among participants. Keynote speeches by Indigenous academics on themes like two-spirit connections and sexual liberation were especially impactful. This experience underscored the potential for virtual conferences to offer a more inclusive, environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional academic gatherings. The success of this online event serves as a model for reimagining academic conferences in ways that prioritize environmental responsibility and inclusivity.




How to Cite

Mackay, J. (2024). Digital and Environmental Erotics: Reflections on the 42nd American Indian Workshop. Transmotion, 9(1&2), 231–244.