Archives of the Planetary Mine: Culture, Nature Extraction, and Energy Across the Americas, 1900s-2000s

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Stockholm University / KTH, Royal Institute of Technology
contact email: 

With the turn towards extractivism and energy as objects for critical inquiry, minerals and fossil fuels have become crucial additions to categories of cultural, political, and materialist analyses. The international workshop Archives of the Planetary Mine will explore the intersections between culture, materiality, politics, energy consumption, and extractivism across the Americas, throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Its purpose is to address the geohistorical magnitudes of energy consumption and critical engagements with the logic of extraction as a condition of possibility for cultural production. The workshop will analyze and historicize the relations between culture and politics, extractivism, and energy from the outlook of material, textual, visual, and politico-economic case studies. It will adopt a cross-regional perspective of the Americas—i.e., North America, Latin America and the Caribbean—given its multifaceted role as a worldwide provider, consumer, and driver of nature and energy commodities. Even though the workshop will focus on this region, cultural and political responses to resource extraction and energy consumption stress how extra-human natures, minerals, and environmental concerns should be accounted for at a national, regional, and planetary scale. Resource extraction involves a global network of capitalist production, material exchange, and technologies connecting nations and materialities across time and space, something scholar Martín Arboleda has termed the “planetary mine.” By emphasizing this transnational aspect, Archives of the Planetary Mine will highlight the relevance of a cross-discussion on the Americas to understand the global apparatus of nature and energy commodification in connection with located and situated cultural production.

The workshop will take place on November 14-15, 2022, at the Nordic Institute of Latin American Studies (NILAS), Stockholm University (Sweden). The workshop's outcome will be a publication (volume or journal special issue) including the essays presented in the workshop.


Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Martín Arboleda (Diego Portales University)

Assistant Professor of Political Geography at the School of Sociology, Universidad Diego Portales, Chile. His research explores the role that primary commodity production performs in the political economy of urbanization and of global capitalism. He is the author of Planetary Mine: Territories of Extraction Under Late Capitalism (Verso, 2020).

Paula Serafini (Queen Mary, University of London)

Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom. Her research explores the political ecology of cultural production and the cultural politics of extraction. She is the author of Creating Worlds Otherwise: Art, Collective Action and (Post)Extractivism (Vanderbilt UP, 2022).

Jeff Diamanti (University of Amsterdam)

Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands. His research investigates the political and media ecology of fossil fuels across the extractive and logistical spaces that connect remote territories. He is the author of Climate and Capital in the Age of Petroleum: Locating Terminal Landscapes (Bloomsbury, 2021).


Participation Information

Doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, and scholars can participate by presenting their own work or as workshop participants. Proposals for individual presentations of 15 minutes should include title, abstract (250 words max.), name, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address. Proposals to join in as workshop participant should include motivation letter (250 words max.), name, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address. Send your proposal by e-mail to before September 15, 2022. Notification by September 26. Possible topics or lines of inquiry include the following:

  1. Political and media ecology of fossil fuels and mineral extraction
  2. Cultural and environmental histories of nature extraction and energy consumption
  3. Critical approaches to mineral extraction and energy consumption from the perspective of visual and material culture—e.g., film, art, archival research, object-oriented research, etc.
  4. Art, activism, and extractivism
  5. Urban studies, natural resource extraction, and the political economy of global capitalism
  6. Connections between energy, colonialism, and post-colonial states

Organizers: Gianfranco Selgas (University College London/NILAS, Stockholm University); Henrik Ernstson (KTH/The University of Manchester); Thaïs Machado Borges (NILAS, Stockholm University).

Supported by: Riksbankens jubileumsfond, supporting humanities and social science; and The Situated Ecologies Platform, art, design and research collaborations to contest and democratize ecologies with funds from KTH Dept of Environmental Science (aka SEED).


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