SF & Extraction: LSFRC 6th annual conference
8-9 October 2022, Online
Keynote speakers & Guest creators TBC.
We're delighted to be supporting the 6th annual conference of the London Science Fiction Research Community, which returns in October 2022 as an international, two-day online event.
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 (300 words + 50-word author bios) and/or enquiries to email@example.com by August 12th.
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.’
For more information, please visit the LSFRC website.
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Featured image by Shane McLendon on Unsplash.