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Call for Papers “Extraction and Its Ecologies: Inhabiting Fragmented Landscapes of Health”


Organizers: Gregg Mitman, Emmanuelle Roth
Venue: Akademie Tutzing (near Munich), Germany
Date of the workshop: 4–6 April 2024
Submission deadline: 1 July 2023

How do we account for the massive disruption and reordering of lived landscapes wrought by extractive industries around the world? International mining consortiums seize land and pollute water and soils to find raw materials, while replanting forests for their environmental mitigation programs. Monoculture plantations drive the extinction of plants and animals while promising free care to the people that work in their enclave. Surveillance programs take blood samples from humans and animals in disease hotspots while running education sessions about the dangers of bushmeat hunting. Habitats are fragmented, profits are stolen, the health of all things is imperiled—is it so?

Ecological understandings of health have come (back) to the forefront since the pandemic of COVID-19. After decades of work on global health, health must now be addressed as “One,” as “Planetary,” as “Eco.” But what does it mean to think with and practice health across issues as diverse as environmental pollution, species extinction, zoonotic disease outbreaks, and land desecration? In attending not to universalities, but to specific ecologies of extraction—from forests to plantations, from mines to biomedical laboratories—what different alliances among living and non-living things, epistemologies, materialities, toxicities, temporal and spatial scales, and affects and aesthetics come into view?

The workshop is intended to enliven methodological approaches, theoretical framings, and historical genealogies that explore impulses toward holistic framings of health without reproducing hegemonic discourses. We wish to attend to the dissonances, convergences, and new potentialities across our work as critical scholars interested in biodiversity, emerging infectious diseases, and/or toxic pollution in zones of extraction.

This workshop is sponsored by an ERC Advanced Grant, Fragments of the Forest: Hot Zones, Disease Ecologies, and the Changing Landscape of Environment and Health in West Africa, based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich. Travel, lodging, and meals for invited participants will be paid for by the RCC. The workshop will take place from 4–6 April 2024 at the Akademie Tutzing, outside Munich. Participants will be asked to give 15-minute short panel presentations at the workshop. Our intention is to produce a collective publication out of one or more gatherings.

To apply, please submit a short CV along with a statement of 250–500 words that reflects on how your current work might benefit/be reshaped by interacting with scholars working across these different domains and how your own scholarship, disciplinary allegiances, and methodological approach could contribute to the conversation. Please submit your materials to Gregg Mitman, g.mitman@lmu.de and Emmanuelle Roth, e.roth@lmu.de by 1 July 2023.