Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses

deadline for submissions: 
February 28, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
University College Dublin

Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses 

4-8 July 2023 at University College Dublin

CFP Submission Deadline: 28 February 2023 (panel proposals); 28 February 2023 (paper proposals)


This four-day symposium debates the complex legacies and entanglements arising from the long and global history of mining as not just a geo-technological process, but a  historically evolving practice with huge environmental, social, political and cultural effects. These  negative socio-cultural impacts include: the appropriation of land belonging to local communities; the displacement of people; the disruption of Indigenous communities and connection to land; the demolition of sites of cultural heritage; and the interruption of other local economic activities. Environmental impacts range from erosion and sinkholes and the contamination and/or loss of groundwater, to the loss of biodiversity, deforestation, and to air pollution. However, as the demand for rare earth, bauxite, lithium, phosphate rock and iron has rocketed, the globalised mining industry is thriving. In the period from 2020 to 2021 alone, the global mining industry was forecast to grow from $1641.67 billion to $1845.55. By 2025 it is expected to reach $2427.85 billion.1


The longevity and adaptability of historical and colonialist logics underpin and empower neo-extractivist development in all corners of the world and require, therefore, critical responses.  Inviting a range of methodological perspectives and approaches from disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, the symposium aims to investigate the crucial role of the arts and humanities in understanding the complex environmental, socio-cultural and political legacies of mining.  The symposium will include site visits to peatlands restoration projects and the Glendalough mines, as well as an exhibition and arts event at the Museum of Literature Ireland.


The symposium explores the following themes: How do the arts (photography, fine art, film, performance art, sculpture, and literature) engage with the history of mining?  How do creative arts practices and local activism address the transition from mining to post-mining? How are (post)mining landscapes reimagined? What are the changing historical, literary and artistic imaginaries of mining? How do activists mobilise opposition to new practices of extractivism? 


We invite panel or individual paper proposals on scholarly, artistic, and/or activist responses to the following themes:

  • Displacement: matter, people, environment
  • Environmental Entanglement: mining’s complex ecological, ethical, and social relationships 
  • Literary-historical/Cultural-historical responses to mining in literature and art
  • Resistance: Youth protest/Activism/Indigenous resistance
  • Energy/Endurance
  • Labour
  • Water
  • Mined matter
  • Protest Art /Performance Art
  • Renewal/Repair/Regeneration
  • Just Transition and Liveable Futures
  • Capitalist/Socialist responses to mining 
  • Finitude/Exhaustion/Entropy


Panel proposals of either three 20 minute papers, or four 15 minute papers. Please include a 300 word abstract of the panel theme, together with 250-word paper proposals and a 100 word bio from each of the speakers, in a single document by 28 February.


Individual 20 minute papers. Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words and a 100 word bio by 28 February.


We look forward to receiving your submissions at