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CHCI Global Humanities Institute 2023: ‘Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses’ 

The UCD Humanities Institute has been selected by the (opens in a new window)Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) to lead a two-year prestigious  Andrew W. Mellon-funded (opens in a new window)Global Humanities Institute (GHI) 2023 ($199,952).

Our project, ‘Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses’ (PI: Anne Fuchs; Co-Is: Sarah Comyn, Megan Kuster, Marek Tamm, Eeva Kesküla, Francisco Martínez, Sarah Nuttall, Hlonipha Mokoena, Keith Breckenridge, Katerina Teaiwa, Kathleen Canning, and Joseph Campana; and visual artist Judy Carroll Deeley), is based on a partnership between the UCD HumanitiesEarth and Discovery Institutes (University College Dublin, Ireland), the (opens in a new window)Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), the (opens in a new window)Centre of Excellence in Intercultural Studies (Tallinn University, Estonia), the (opens in a new window)Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa), the (opens in a new window)School of Culture, History and Language (Australian National University) and the (opens in a new window)Humanities Research and (opens in a new window)Environmental Studies Centers (Rice University, U.S.A.). Additional project participants include the UCD Environmental Humanities Research Strand (Director: Dr Sharae Deckard) and <iCRAG>.

Image Credit: "Over Turn", oil and mixed media on canvas 50 x 40cm 2021 Judy Carroll Deeley

Comprising three strands (‘methodologies’, ‘site studies’ and ‘creative responses’) and generating both artistic and academic outputs, our project draws on anthropology, history, literary studies, environmental studies, bio-archaeology and activist art practice to investigate former sites of mining in Ireland, Germany, Estonia, South Africa, Oceania and the Gulf Coast of the United States. The project focuses on a transnational exploration of creative arts practices and local activism in the transition from mining to post-mining. 

The project includes the three interdisciplinary institutes to be hosted by Tallinn University, UCD and the University of Witwatersrand in 2023. 

We hugely look forward to working together with all our collaborators through the duration of the project from 2022-23. 

If you are interested in knowing more please get in touch with us ((opens in a new window)humanities@ucd.iemegan.kuster@ucd.ie(opens in a new window)sarah.comyn@ucd.ie).

20th May 2024 | 'Landings: Art after Extractivism'
Art Exhibit Launch

Time: 5.30pm
HI Seminar Room (H204)

Opening remarks by Professor Kate Robson Brown, Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact (VPRII), followed by Professor Regina Uí Chollatáin, Principal/College of Arts and Humanities.

The artworks in this exhibit were produced in response to the (opens in a new window)2022/23 CHCI Global Humanities Institute 'Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses’ which was led by the UCD Humanities Institute. This exhibition marks the end of the Andrew W. Mellon funded transnational research project which has resulted in a rich international network and many diverse outputs, spanning academic publications, blogs, an online syllabus and artistic works.

Image artworks by:
Judy Carroll Deeley | Sarah Comyn | Helen Doherty | Katherine Fama

27th-30th November 2023 | WiSER 'Post-Extractivist Legacies & Landscapes' Meeting

CHCI Post-Institute 

From 27-30 November 2023, the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER), University of the Witwatersrand, is hosting a multi-day workshop on the global humanities in the aftermath of extractivism.

As part of the project’s post-institute meeting, a series of public presentations will take place in the WiSER Seminar Room on 28 & 29 November.

The meeting combines a number of site visits that will connect the academic discussions to cultural locations and extracted landscapes, including a Dlala Nje tour of the inner city and the Ferreira Mine Museum in Johannesburg, as well as a tour of the ERGO tailings projects on the East Rand and the Marievale Bird Sanctuary.

Image credit: "Gold Mine East Rand Gauteng South Africa", oil on canvas 60 x 80cm 2024 Judy Carroll Deeley

4th - 8th July 2023 | Main Institute, UCD

Through critical engagement with community and multi-modal artistic approaches, this five-day symposium considered the cultural, social, environmental, and economic crises associated with extractivism. Considering both the metaphoric and methodological contexts and consequences of extractivism, we sought to generate new modes of analyses to investigate established discourses of extractivism.

The symposium included roundtables on activist art and extractivism, methodologies concerning extractivism, socialist responses to extractivism, critical and cultural approaches to energy extractivism and the future of renewables, panel presentations from the project partners’ case studies, as well as a suite of panels on topics including resistance to extractivist activities in Latin America, the relationship between coercive colonial labour exploitation in the Cape and the establishment of a labour pipeline to the mines, and community engagement in the wake of newly proposed extractivist projects, among others.

Image Credit: "Underground Glendalough Mine", oil on canvas 80 x 60cm 2023 Judy Carroll Deeley

Video and audio recordings from the Symposium:

28th - 30th April 2023 | Pre-Institute meeting Estonia, Tallinn and Ida-Virumaa

From 28.04-30.04, a group of researchers from University College Dublin (Ireland), Rice University (USA) and The Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (Republic of South Africa) will be visiting Tallinn University as part of the project (opens in a new window)Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses.

A series of presentations on extractivism, its research and representation will take place on Friday, 28th April.

Image credits:
[1] 'Empty Oil-shale Town', oil on canvas 50 x 60cm 2023 Judy Carroll Deeley

[2] 'Tailings Pond Ida-Virumaa Estonia', oil on canvas 60 x 80cm 2023 Judy Carroll Deeley

'Capitalocene: From A Time of Ambition' | Judy Carroll Deeley [Project Artist]

‘Capitalocene: From a Time of Ambition’ centres on the theme of commercial mining activity and its aftermath. The project takes a broader view of the mining industry, its ‘exploit and flee’ strategy still used by many large corporations today, and the consequences for indigenous peoples, flora, and fauna.

In 2021 and again in 2022 she was awarded an Agility Award by the Irish Arts Council to develop her new series of paintings as part of this project which is concerned with the environment under stress. 

(opens in a new window)View all artworks HERE

Call for Entries: 'Post-Mining Legacies and Landscapes' Student HI Zine ART COMPETITION

The aim of this student art competition is to make public artists’ ideas about the concept of regeneration in the context of extractivism. This competition is one aspect of an Andrew W. Mellon-funded CHCI Global Humanities Institute (2023) research project entitled ‘Post-Extractivist Landscapes and Legacies: Humanities, artistic and activist responses’.

Call for Papers | Main Institute symposium:

Project Website:

(opens in a new window)Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses
(opens in a new window)https://extractivistlegacies.org/

Project Leaders:

Grant PI: (opens in a new window)Professor Anne Fuchs, MRIA, FBA
Director, UCD Humanities Institute
(opens in a new window)anne.fuchs@ucd.ie

Co-I: (opens in a new window)Dr Sarah Comyn(opens in a new window)
UCD School of English, Drama and Film
(opens in a new window)sarah.comyn@ucd.ie

Co-I and Project Manager: Dr Megan Kuster(opens in a new window)
UCD School of English, Drama and Film
(opens in a new window)megan.kuster@ucd.ie

UCD Humanities Institute

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4690 | E: humanities@ucd.ie |