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Public Talk / Columba Gonzalez-Duarte - “With the future on our backs.” The tied mobilities of monarch and human migrants

January 25, 2023
6:00 pm

Columba Gonzalez-Duarte holds a PhD degree, in socio-cultural anthropology, from the University of Toronto, with a collaborative degree at the School of Environment. After graduating in 2019, she gained a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. She is now an Assistant Professor with Mount Saint Vincent University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Through her research, Columba explores the monarch butterfly’s tri-national conservation dynamics, exploring connections between NAFTA’s agri-food industry, labour migration, and monarch decline. She has also worked with Indigenous communities that co-habit with the butterfly across Canada, the United States and Mexico, documenting their knowledge and ways of relating with the migratory insect. This work is an example of multi-sited and multi-species field work.

Since joining MSVU in spring 2020, Columba has been initiating her teaching practice while continuing work on her research project, Convergent Migrations, as well as finishing a book based on her doctoral research. Moving forward, there’s an aspect of social justice she wants to bring to MSVU, to her students and future research – something she calls eco-social justice: how to achieve justice for humans and non-humans. The butterfly project allows her to explore this in a context of ‘thinking beyond borders’ – national borders, and those borders that we construe between human and non-humans.

Picture taken from

Wolff Conference Room
6 E 16th Street