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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 Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) to lead a two-year prestigious  Andrew W. Mellon-funded 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 Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), the Centre of Excellence in Intercultural Studies (Tallinn University, Estonia), the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa), the School of Culture, History and Language (Australian National University) and the Humanities Research and Environmental Studies Centers (Rice University, U.S.A.). Additional project participants include the UCD Environmental Humanities Research Strand (Director: Dr Sharae Deckard) and <iCRAG>.

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 (humanities@ucd.iemegan.kuster@ucd.iesarah.comyn@ucd.ie).


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.

Video and audio recordings from the Symposium:

'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. 

View artworks HERE

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 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.

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:

Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses

Project Leaders:

Grant PI: Professor Anne Fuchs, MRIA, FBA
Director, UCD Humanities Institute

Co-I: Dr Sarah Comyn
UCD School of English, Drama and Film

Co-I and Project Manager: Dr Megan Kuster
UCD School of English, Drama and Film

Image Credit: "Over Turn". oil and mixed media on canvas_50 x 40 cm_2021_Judy Carroll Deeley

UCD Humanities Institute

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