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Chapter 12 focuses on the emergence of Life as an organizing concept of biology and white life that retains a geologic-raced ground. It begins by examining how Black earth archives challenge white supremacy in its pursuit of claims to the surface and present. Focusing on the erasure of earth in the formation of the nation-state, counterpoetics are discussed as a reparative aesthetics of the earth that engages incomplete and incompletable histories of geotrauma.These lithic-eye views are placed alongside the narrativization of whiteness through genealogy and “purposeful” arboreal metaphors that ground humanism in the bios-geos split. Examining the Tree of Life as a diagrammatic tool for bifurcating the movement and directionality of Life and its grounds unmasks how Indigenous, Black, and Brown earth subtends the emergence of ideas of white settler subjectivity.

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