The Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria and the Consortium for Humanities Centres and Institutes (CHCI) based at the University of Wisconsin are co-sponsoring a colloquium, which aims to bring together researchers working in the broad area of environmental humanities in Africa. The colloquium is part of an ongoing research of the African Observatory for Humanities for the Environment, based at the University of Pretoria. It also seeks to bring together a cohort of young African scholars of Humanities studies that recently attended the Summer Summit organised by the CHCI at the University of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2019. The research group, founded at the Summit, is working in the broad area of environmental humanities, and we are excited to give them this opportunity to extend the collaboration and to share their research with their peers.
The theme, “The Poetics and Politics of Extraction and the Environment”, which frames the colloquium offers the possibilities for real inter-disciplinary dialogue across Humanities disciplines and the natural sciences, but equally an important focus on an area that resonates with pertinent problems of the environment in Africa. By the poetics of extraction, we mean the grammar or lexicon used to frame the competing meanings around extraction and the environment; and by the politics, we imply the making visible of power relations that define those layered problems of extraction and environmental degradation – an ecology of environmental extraction that twines the environment and economics. We are using ‘extraction’ here in the broadest sense of the word to mean exploitation of raw materials, of not only minerals and earth resources, but also water resources, land and plantation farming, and de-afforestation of hitherto rich forests of the world such as the Congo Basin and the Amazon, among others.
The colloquium is taking place from 28 until 31 May 2019 at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship's Old College House Seminar Room.
The programme for the colloquium is available here.