Call for Papers: SF + Extraction

Poster and graphic by Angela Y T Chan

8-9 October, Online (Blackboard Collaborate).

Keynote speaker: Professor Kathryn Yusoff

Guest creators TBC.

Situating Extraction

As Earth burns, capital continues to plunder more and more material with which to fuel its own destructive growth. ‘Extraction’ entails the removal – usually forcible – and conversion of the human and inhuman into marketable materials. In so doing, nature as such becomes implicated in human politics across a variety of tangled, exploitative confluences. Extraction is an imperialist, (neo)colonialist practice that has been wreaking havoc on life for over five hundred years, as resources and people are extracted from the Global South and profit accumulated in the Global North. It undergirds capitalism’s model of success-through-progress, occupying and controlling the horizons of past history, present conditions and future possibility. Extraction, then, insists that alternative ways of being-in-the-world do not matter, excluding, exploiting and destroying lives in order to keep the engines of eternal growth burning brightly. For the past two centuries, extraction has built a world petroculture, a global energy system that has caused disastrous damage to the planet’s climate and circumscribed social and cultural imaginaries. It is imperative that we find ways to conceive of futures free of extractive hegemony and the technofix solutions it proposes to the problems it causes.

Sf builds new worlds, sometimes from the same components that constitute our present reality, sometimes with alternative ingredients and values toward more just and equitable ways of being. Its origins as a genre are colonialist and imperial, and its close affinity for the dominant technoculture remains ongoing. In spite of this – or, rather, precisely because of this – sf is uniquely effective as a mode of imagining capable of destabilising the binaristic divisions (nature/culture, first nature/second nature, centre/periphery) that underscore extractive thinking and practice. Sf has often been a genre of technical and personal mastery, but is increasingly a space for vulnerability, inclusion and change, of finding ways out of the historical nightmare that is being differentially forced upon us.

The SF + Extraction Conference

For our 2022 conference, the LSFRC welcomes submissions that explore the theme of Science Fiction + Extraction. We invite proposals for papers, panels, workshops, performances, and creative responses to the theme, and we would like to actively encourage alternative and innovative forms of presentation and engagement.

It is our view that the theme of Extraction is urgent and at the same time broad and receptive to diverse interpretations. We welcome contributions that think with, through and about extraction in all its forms – as extraction of human and nonhuman subjects; appropriation of knowledge and indigenous practices; instrumentalisation of landscapes beneath, upon and beyond the Earth; parasitism; pollution as colonialism; the accumulative schematisation of linear temporal frames; forcefully extracted emotional labour; legacies of trauma and more – and its relationship with sf both as an extractive form of fiction and as a corrective/counter to extraction. From asteroid mining to dream harvesting, we want to engage with sf texts and ways of thinking across all media that explores, unravels and seeks to push beyond extraction’s mastery of the past, present and future.

Please email proposals (150-300 words + 25-50 word author bios) and/or enquiries to lsfrcmail@gmail.com by August 31st. If you need a short extension, please get in touch as soon as possible.

We are aware that academic conferences often involve barriers to access so if you have any specific concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out, especially as the online format carries its own challenges (as well as benefits). We hope we can alleviate some of these concerns with the reassurance that paying for registration is completely optional.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Oceanic and watery extractions. The Blue Humanities, hydrofeminism.
  • Plant extraction. The colonial history of botany
  • Planetarity: planetary consciousness and subjecthood.
  • Alternative futurisms and other decolonial science fictions.
  • Indigenous and other counter-hegemonic ecologies.
  • Necropolitics. Mobilisation and control of dying and living.
  • Critiques of ‘second nature’ & colonial understandings of nature.
  • Climate Justice, land justice and reparations.
  • Petrocultures and the Energy Humanities. 
  • Non-human and un-living subjects and agency. New Materialism. Critical Animal Studies. Queer Death Studies and the ahuman.
  • Counter-hegemonic temporalities and politics of time. Expanded and alternative archives. 
  • Critiques of colonial epistemology. Alternative scientific literacies. 
  • Extraction and intergenerational trauma. 
  • Post-Fordist labour as extractive. Social reproduction. Affect and emotional labour.
  • Mining, on Earth and beyond. 
  • Degrowth and other re-theorisations of growth and progress.
  • Fictive and speculative resource extraction.
  • Critical approaches to ‘The Resource Curse’
  • Human-alien encounters/extractions. Rethinking the concepts of ‘discovery’ and ‘contact.’

Suggested Reading:

  • Affective Ecocriticism: Emotion, Embodiment, Environment, edited by Kyle Bladow & Jennifer Ladino (University of Nebraska Press).
  • An Ecotopian Lexicon, edited by Matthew Schneider-Mayerson & Brent Ryan Bellamy (University of Minnesota Press).
  • A Non-Secular Anthropocene: Spirits, Specters and Other Nonhumans in a Time of Environmental Change, edited by Nils Bubandt (Aura Working Papers Vol. 3).
  • Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon, edited by Cymene Howe & Anand Pandian (Punctum Books).
  • Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power, edited by Ron Eglash, Jennifer L. Croissant, Giovanna Di Chiro & Rayvon Fouché (University of Minnesota Press).
  • Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, edited by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Heather Anne Swanson, Elaine Gan & Nils Bubandt (University of Minnesota Press).
  • Australian Feminist Studies, Volume 35, Issue 104 (2020).
  • “Climate Fictions,” edited by Alison Sperling. Paradoxa No. 31.
  • Decolonising Utopia Resource List, Utopian Acts.
  • Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment, edited by Imre Szeman (Fordham University Press). 
  • Indigenous Life Projects and Extractivism: Ethnographies from South America, edited by Cecilie Vindal Ødegaard & Juan Javier Rivera Andía (Palgrave Macmillan). 
  • “Indigenous Matters: Cultures, Technologies, Mediations,” edited by Tad Lemieux (MediaTropes Vol. 7 No. 1).
  • Materialism and the Critique of Energy, edited by Brent Ryan Bellamy & Jeff Diamanti (MCM’).
  • “Oil and Media, Oil as Media: Mediating Petrocultures Then and Now,” edited by Jordan B. Kinder & Lucie Stepanik (MediaTropes Vol. 7 No. 2).
  • Open Letter to African Studies Review Journal Editorial Board: Call for Retraction of Article ‘African Studies Keyword: Autoethnography’
  • Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, edited by Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson & Imre Szeman (McGill-Queen’s University Press).
  • Queer Necropolitics, edited by Jin Haritaworn, Adi Kuntsman & Silvia Posocco (Routledge).
  • Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism (Duke University Press).
  • Domhnall Carlin, Jonah Burgess, Philip O’Kane and Sakir Sezer, “You Could Be Mine(d): The Rise of Cryptojacking,” in IEEE Security & Privacy, vol. 18, no. 2.
  • Sria Chatterjee, The Long Shadow Of Colonial Science (2021), Noema. 
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty, The Climate of History in a Planetary Age (University of Chicago Press).
  • Mel Y. Chen, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (Duke University Press).
  • Clare Colebrook, Death of the PostHuman: Essays on Extinction, Vol. 1 (Open Humanities Press).
  • Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (Grove Press).
  • Candace Fujikane, Mapping Abundance For A Planetary Future: kanaka maoli and critical settler cartographies in hawaiʻi, (2021), Duke University Press. 
  • Donna J. Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chulucene (Duke University Press).
  • Donna J. Haraway, “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, Chthulucene: Making Kin” (Environmental Humanities Vol. 6).
  • Cleo Wölfle Hazard, Underflows: Queer Trans Ecologies and River Justice (University of Washington Press).
  • Richard Heeks & Satyarupa Shekhar (2019) “Datafication, development and marginalised urban communities: an applied data justice framework.” Information, Communication & Society, 22:7.
  • Stefan Gaarsmand Jacobsen, Climate Justice and the Economy: Social Mobilization, Knowledge and the Political (Routledge).
  • Melody Jue, Wild Blue Media: Thinking through Seawater (2020), Duke University Press. 
  • Melody Jue. “Vampire Squid Media.” Grey Room, Issue 57, 2014, pp. 82–105.
  • Stephanie LeMenager, Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century (Oxford University Press).
  • Simon L. Lewis & Mark A. Maslin, “Why the Anthropocene began with European colonisation, mass slavery and the ‘great dying’ of the 16th century” (The Conversation).
  • Simon L. Lewis & Mark A. Maslin, The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene (Pelican Books).
  • Max Liboiron, Pollution Is Colonialism (2021), Duke University Press. 
  • Patricia MacCormack, The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene (Bloomsbury).
  • Achille Mbeme, Necropolitics (Duke University Press).
  • Katherine McKittrick, Dear Science and Other Stories (Duke University Press).
  • Walter D. Mignolo, The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options (Duke University Press).
  • Walter D. Mignolo & Catherine E. Walsh, On Decoloniality: Concepts, Analytics, Praxis (Duke University Press).
  • Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil (Verso Books).
  • Jason W. Moore, Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital (Verso Books).
  • Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Harvard University Press).
  • James Petras & Henry Veltmeyer, The New Extractivism: A Post-Neoliberal Development Model or Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century? (Bloomsbury).
  • Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism (Duke University Press).
  • Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism (Duke University Press).
  • Mark Rifkin, Beyond Settler Time: Temporal Sovereignty and Indigenous Self-Determination (Duke University Press).
  • Julietta Singh, Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements (Duke University Press).
  • Bernard Stiegler, The Neganthropocene (Open Humanities Press).
  • Imre Szeman & The Petrocultures Research Group, After Oil (West Virginia University Press).
  • Kim TallBear, “Beyond the Life/Not Life Binary: A Feminist-Indigenous Reading of Cryopreservation, Interspecies Thinking and the New Materialisms.” Cryopolitics: Frozen Life in a Melting World (edited by Joanna Radin & Emma Kowal, The Mit Press).
  • Kim TallBear, “Dossier: Theorizing Queer Inhumanisms: An Indigenous Reflection on Working Beyond the Human/Not Human.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Vol. 21(2-3).
  • Kim TallBear, “The Emergence, Politics, and Marketplace of Native American DNA.” The Routledge Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society, edited by Daniel Lee Kleinman & Kelly Moore (Routledge).
  • Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (Princeton University Press).
  • Nancy Tuana. “Viscous porosity: witnessing Katrina.” Material feminisms, 2008, pp. 188-213.
  • Eve Tuck & K. Wayne Yang, “Decolonisation is not a metaphor.” Decolonization: Inidgeneity, Education & Society, Vol. 1 No. 1.
  • James Tyner, Dead Labor: Toward a Political Economy of Premature Death (University of Minnesota Press).
  • Alexander G. Weheliye, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Duke University Press).
  • Anna J. Willow, Understanding ExtrACTIVISM: Culture and Power in Natural Resource Disputes (Routledge).
  • Sylvia Wynter, “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation–An Argument” (CR: The New Centennial Review, Vol 3. No 3.).
  • Kathryn Yusoff, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (University of Minnesota Press).

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