What, when & where
Call for Papers Annual BrANCH Conference
Madingley Hall, Cambridge, 9-11 October 2020
BrANCH 2020 and COVID-19
BrANCH is assuming, or at least very much hoping, that the current Covid-19 pandemic will be over by October 2020 and, with it, the travel restrictions between the US and the UK (and indeed anywhere else) will be lifted. So we encourage you to submit your panel and paper proposals as normal by the original Call for Papers deadline of Friday 8th May. We will continue to monitor the situation, and will make a decision on how best to manage registration, which would not normally open until June in any event. We can assure you that if we have to cancel BrANCH2020, a full refund for conference fees will be given. We cannot cover travel costs and/or losses, however, so we advise later than usual booking, perhaps, to ensure confidence that you can fly. The BrANCH Conference Secretary, Liz Barnes, has ensured that she has the dates to cancel by firmly in her diary, so we will let you know promptly (by the end of August, if not earlier) if there is any risk of BrANCH2020 at Madingley not going ahead. Please all take care in this current crisis.
Deadline & how to apply
The BrANCH committee is pleased to invite proposals for our 27th annual conference, to be held at Madingley Hall, Cambridge, 9-11 October 2020.
The Parish Lecturer for 2020, we are delighted to announce, is Professor Adam Smith, author of The Stormy Present: Conservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics, 1846-1865 (UNC Press 2017) and No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North (OUP 2006).
The BrANCH Keynote for 2020, we are equally delighted to announce, is Professor Elaine Frantz, author of Ku-Klux: The Birth of the Klan during Reconstruction (UNC Press 2016) and Manhood Lost: Drunken Men and Redeeming Women in the Nineteenth-Century United States (John Hopkins University Press 2003).
The BrANCH Committee would like to invite both panels and individual papers on all aspects of U.S. history from the period 1789 to 1917. We particularly encourage panels that open new lines of communication between established thematic specialties as well as individual papers that cut across traditional categories of historical inquiry in imaginative and innovative ways. Sponsored panels and postgraduate contributions are especially welcome.
In line with BrANCH’s diversity initiative, proposals for single-gender panels are unlikely to be accepted. Sponsored panels and postgraduate contributions are especially welcome. Due to limitations of space on the programme we are also unlikely to accept paper proposals from those who presented at our last two conferences (Edinburgh, 2019 and Missouri, 2020); this does not prevent them from chairing a panel however.
Other info, Links & conditions
Subsidies for UK-based postgraduate participants are available for those not in receipt of support from their home institutions. These will be offered on a first come first served basis.
We are pleased to introduce a childcare/carers bursary for postgraduates and ECRs with caring responsibilities. Full details to follow on our website.
Please send a brief CV and a summary of the proposed paper or panel (no more than 3 speakers per panel and 300 words per paper, please) by Friday 8th May 2020 to the Conference Secretary at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that all programme participants will be expected either to be members or register as BrANCH members before the conference.
Further information on membership can be found here, and please see our Twitter feed (@Branch19th) for regular updates, or you can email the Chair, email@example.com.
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What, when & where
Extraction: Tracing the Veins
June 29 – July 10, 2020
A PERC Virtual/ nearly carbon neutral conference
Massey University, New Zealand and Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
The global appetite for large-scale resource extraction is insatiable. Extraction is the basis for contemporary capitalism, and for almost every commodity we engage with, use and even consume in everyday life. Like minerals coursing through veins deep in the earth and connecting in ways unseen from the surface, extraction provides a direct link between people, economy and planet, with deeply embedded connections—material, ideological and political. Extractive industries are also responsible for half of the world’s carbon emissions and more than 80% of biodiversity loss. Now, as the environmental costs become harder to ignore, we are seeing new actions to contest and reshape extractivism, and to consider post-extractive futures. From a ban on offshore oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa NZ, to industry-led sustainable mining initiatives, and to strikes and protests against mining and oil developments through the Americas, Asia, Pacific and Africa, extraction (and activism towards it) is reshaping people’s relationships with state and market institutions, with the land and soil, and with each other.
Despite the centrality of extraction to contemporary life, Anthony Bebbington (2012) wrote a few years ago of ‘the relative invisibility of minerals, oil and gas in the canons of political ecology’. While the intervening years have seen important scholarship, the extractive industries, and processes of extractivism more broadly, continues to be a fertile space for further political ecology- driven exploration. In order to re-examine extraction and its contested place in contemporary capitalism, this event calls on participants to take up the theme of Extraction, which we understand in multiple senses: extraction as the material extraction of natural resources; as a mode of accumulation central to the histories and continuation of capitalism; and as a worldview in which nature is a resource to be commodified for human consumption and accumulation. We encourage scholarly critique as well as engagement with the multiple movements that confront extraction and the communities that are practicing and imagining different systems based on regeneration.
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?
Deadline & how to apply
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, March 6th 2020. We also welcome proposals for panels and (digital) roundtable 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.
Other info, Links & conditions
Nearly carbon-neutral conference format
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.