Extraction: A nearly carbon-neutral conference

Extraction: A nearly carbon-neutral conference


Massey University, New Zealand and Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands

This is free and open for anyone to attend. 

June 29 – July 10, 2020

In this nearly carbon neutral conference, we invite authors from a range of backgrounds and countries to present and collaborate virtually. The conference will take place over two weeks in June and July 2020. We welcome contributors who hail from a broad range of disciplines: sociologists, artists, engineers, environmental activists, geographers, development practitioners, biologists, economists, environmental managers, anthropologists, and industry representatives to name a few.

We seek contributions that cross boundaries of social/natural sciences, and that connect local and
global contextual analyses.

Papers are invited to address, but are not limited to, the following themes:
– Theorising extractivism. Considering the environmental histories and ongoing colonial character of extractive industries; the historic and contemporary global flows and connections of resources and power. This may include: Social reproduction and extractivism; feminist political ecology of extraction; racism and ethnic identity formation in extractivist projects and processes; the financialization of commodities and extractivism; extractivism and climate change.
– The future of extractive industries. How are extractive industries changing and adapting to environmental, social, or competitive pressures; What are the possibilities for sustainable resource extraction?; of moving away from extractive industries?; do calls for the end of extractive industries ignore the imperial histories of these industries, their centrality to modern life (and indeed to the technologies by which this conference is possible) and the different potentialities that extraction produces – from the politics of resignation, to increasingly strident forms of nationalism, and discourses of (resource) curses.
 – New forms of extraction. Beyond the traditional extractive industries, how do other forms of resource extraction – sand, intensive agriculture, deep sea mining, data mining, even ‘renewable’ resources – help us to re-theorise extractivism and its centrality to capitalist relations?
– Confronting extractivism. Movements by indigenous Peoples, environmental groups, peasants, workers, etc. that confront extractivism, both in terms of place-based projects, and the political economy and nature/society dualisms that legitimate extractive practices.
 – Creative responses to extraction. How are artists, creative writers and activists responding to extraction? How is / can art challenge and subvert extractivism? We welcome creative presentations that work well on the online format, such as photography and art portfolios, short films, and creative writing.
– Post-extraction and regenerative systems. Can we live without extraction? What does a post-extractivist world look like? How are communities around the world protecting and/or building regenerative rather than extractive systems? How do different worldviews, including Māori and other indigenous perspectives on extraction, take us beyond a materialist discussion of post-extractivism to imagining and building alternatives?

Traditional academic conferences are responsible for a considerable amount of carbon emissions, as presenters fly from around the world to present in a single location. This also incurs significant financial costs, which often precludes researchers from developing countries and postgraduate students from attending. The Environmental Humanities Initiative at UC Santa Barbara estimated that running an online conference reduces the carbon footprint of a conference by 99%, as well as broadening their reach and accessibility.

This conference will take place entirely online in June-July 2020. Contributors will not have to travel
anywhere and there is no registration fee. Conference presentations will consist of material that can
be submitted online as a video file. This could take the form of a webcam recording, an edited video,
a PowerPoint or Prezi with recorded audio or another form of video.  Each presentation should be no more than 20 minutes long. Instructions on creating and submitting presentations for the conference are online here. For a sense of what this looks like in practice, please see previous conferences on “The Lives and Afterlives of Plastic” and “The feral”. We also ask contributors to actively engage with questions and ideas that other attendees post on their presentation.

Abstract and panel submission instructions
If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please send a 250 word abstract with your
name, e-mail address, and affiliation to masseyPERC@gmail.com by Friday, February 28th 2020. We also welcome proposals for panels and (digital) round table discussions, and we encourage innovative formats. If you would like to propose a panel, please send us a short panel rationale and details of panel participants.
After the conference, some contributors will be invited to develop their presentations for
publication in an edited volume.

Conference Organisers
Glenn Banks, Massey University
Alice Beban, Massey University
Michiel Köhne, Wageningen University
Elisabet Rasch, Wageningen University

Hosted by Massey University Political Ecology Research Centre (PERC)


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