Making Post-Extractive Futures in Data- Saturated Worlds

Call for Articles – Edited Volume
Strukturwandel: Post-extraktive Zukunft in datengesättigten Welten / Making Post-Extractive Futures in Data- Saturated Worlds

There is a growing awareness across the world that in order to enable a sustainable future, extractive
industries and economies based on those industries need to be transformed. Accordingly, national
governments, transnational institutions as well as various experts and public initiatives are currently
negotiating scenarios for such transformations in trying to anticipate their social and environmental

In Germany, for example, the upcoming exit from coal mining is expected to entail a major structural
change, or Strukturwandel for whole regions. According to economic theory, structural change
comprises a shift from agricultural to industrial and to the service sector, and subsequent
transformations for employment, industry organization, financial systems, or income and wealth
distribution. However, the impact of mining goes way beyond the economic sphere, as does structural change. Accordingly, the consequences of exiting mining are expected to be felt not only in the economical and labour sector, but also to significantly change cultural and social life. These transitions are, furthermore, heavily intertwined with institutional change, technological development, and everyday life.

This book aims to investigate the making of post-extractive futures in different social contexts and
from interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives. Using the German notion of Strukturwandel, we suggest a more general take on post-extractive transformation as a fundamental and multidimensional process. Strukturwandel impacts societies in various, also unexpected ways and its effects may be unevenly distributed among locales and actors. Seen as inevitable and complex,
Strukturwandel is, however, also regarded as being malleable and governable in political and public
discourses. This implies the possibility and even necessity of engagement, participation, and
collaboration of public as well as political and economic actors.

Digitization is one of these powerful future scenarios, supposedly applicable to former mining and
other post-industrial areas. Visions of information technologies enabling connected and integrated
futures for currently suspended and closed down regions is elaborated upon in political and
technological discourse, such as, for instance, plans of turning former industrial buildings into digital
innovation labs and science parks, or former mining areas into “smart regions” and testfields for ITbased services. Digitization is even expected to modernize “old” industries, enabling them to survive the industrial transition by means of virtualization (“industry 4.0”). Given the popular image of IT technologies as inclusive, future-oriented and environmentally friendly, this contemporary
postindustrial scenario is often welcomed by broader publics and the media.

At the same time, it can be argued that digitization with its high penetration of all aspects of society is
causing rather than cushioning structural change, and heavily impacting social life and natural
environment. The expanding energy-consuming infrastructures and industries needed to implement
digital innovation might as well lead to environmental damages and new inequalities, related to the
uneven distribution of connectivity and technological intelligence.

In this book, we are especially interested in how visions of Stukturwandel, exit from mining,
connectivity and IT-based innovation are being integrated into predictive models and scenarios of the future, and how these are implemented. How is knowledge about the future in/of post-extractive datasaturated worlds produced, distributed, and applied? And how are IT-related needs of energy and
natural resources calculated and legitimized in regard to an anticipated (smart and sustainable) society of the future?

We invite contributions that investigate Strukturwandel and the making of post-extractive futures
either in relation to mining or (and) in relation to digitization. Essays can comprise, but are not limited to, questions of the sociocultural impact of Strukturwandel, its process and navigation, sectoral interlinkages, lived experiences, political necessities, and the moral, technical and economic challenges and chances related to it. Case studies from different locales and (post-)industrial sites are welcome.

In methodological terms, we are interested in going beyond the traditional divides of old and new
industries, and to think through different infrastructural-industrial developments with their spatial and temporal dimensions, bearing in mind that even breaks can be regarded as specific forms of relation.

We welcome contributions in both English and German language.
Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words by December 31st, 2019 to or

Energy Ethics 2020

***ENERGY ETHICS 2020***

St Andrews | 1-2 April 2020 | Art | Presentations| Panel Discussion

How can we best balance our need for energy with our concern for climate change? Is there room for morality in energy markets?  What energy futures do we envision and how do we get there?

Global energy demand continues to rise. To meet this demand energy producers are increasingly relying on innovative methods of harvesting energy from fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable sources. At the same time, public concern about the impact of anthropogenic climate change is growing, alongside tense conflicts over the human and environmental impact of energy production, distribution, consumption and waste-handling. This energy predicament raises fundamental questions about what we consider to be right or good, and the kinds of energy futures we envision for ourselves, our communities, and future generations around the world. 

It is our pleasure to invite you to Energy Ethics 2020. This two-day event will address these issues by bringing together artists, industry representatives, politicians, scholars and members of the ERC-funded Energy Ethics team, led by Dr Mette High in the Department of Social Anthropology at University of St Andrews.

What you can look forward to at Energy Ethics 2020:

1 April – The Art of Energy, the Byre Theatre

  1. The Art of Energy Competition will showcase artists’ creative conceptualizations of our climate-energy predicament and visions of life with energy.
  2. The Arts and Energy Reception.
  3. Documentary screening of the “End of an Era?” with Q&A with the filmmaker Paloma Yáñez Serrano.

2 April – Energy Ethics 2020 Symposium, Parliament Hall

  1. Presentations by members the Energy Ethics Team on their ethnographic work at field sites around the world.
  2. Key Note Speakers will include Prof Tobias Haller and Prof Hirokazu Miyazaki.
  3. The International Energy Industry Panel will provide the opportunity to hear perspectives from industry leaders on energy industry challenges, opportunities, and the road ahead. 
  4. Networking opportunities – meet and discuss with participants, presenters and special guests to widen your networks and horizons.

We look forward to seeing you at Energy Ethics 2020 – a fantastic opportunity for conversation, reflection and the exchange of ideas between people in industry, policy, academia and the arts.

Attendance is free but the deadline to register is 20 March 2020.  You can register online at:

For further details, please contact the organizers Anna Rauter and Dr Sean Field at

Energies and technologies futures program

June 20/21st 2019

ISH, Salle Élise Rivet (4th floor)

14 avenue Berthelot, 69007 Lyon, France


9.30 Introduction

10.00 – 12.00 panel one

Sarah Pink – Emerging Technologies Lab, Monash University

Energy Futures and Emerging Technologies: A Design Anthropological Approach

Alexander R.E. Taylor – Department of Social Anthropology/University of Cambridge

Future-proof Clouds: Electromagnetic Pulse Protection in the Data Centre Industry

Julia Velkova  – Consumer Society Research Centre/University of Helsinki

Replacing fossil fuels with data: emergent cultures and infrastructural politics around data centres’ thermal waste across Europe

Agnese Cimdina – Faculty of Business, Management and Economics University of Latvia

Is technology the answer to the double bind?

12.00 – 13.00 lunch


13.00 – 15.00 panel two

Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs – University of Saint Andrews

Energy demanding expectations: house size, privacy and domestic energy research

Michiel Köhne & Elisabet Rasch – Sociology of Development and Change/Wageningen University        

The future of energy in your rented home – Tenants and the energy transition

Charlotte Johnson – UCL Energy Institute, UCL

Is Demand Side Response a woman’s work? Domestic labour and the UK’s future smart electricity system

15.00 – 18.00 site visit of Lyon Confluences


Day two

09.00 – 11.30 panel three

Chiara Bresciani – The Cairns Institute, James Cook University & School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University

Under a rising sun? Solar energy, bright prospects and missed futures

Hsin-yi Lu – Department of Anthropology, National Taiwan University

Wind Futures: Contested Sociotechnical Imaginaries of Renewable Energy in Taiwan

Martín Fonck – Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society/Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

“Explorando el interior de la Cordillera de Los Andes”: an ethnographic approach to the construction of geothermal energy futures in the Chilean Andes Mountains.

Ragnhild Freng Dale –

Between power lines and petroleum: energy futures, art interventions and coloniality in the Norwegian north

11.30 – 11.45 coffee break


11.45 – 13.00 Discussion on publication possibilities and panel proposals for EASA 2020


13.00 – lunch and departure


Attendance is free but please register:


Cfp: Energies and Technologies Futures

EASA – FAN/EAN joint workshop

20-21st June 2019 in Lyon (France)

Deadline for abstract submission: April 15th 2019

For over a century, predictions about the future have been dominated by technological fantasies, either with utopian or dystopian outcomes. Driven increasingly by responses to the causes and effects of climate change, popular political future imaginaries span elitist extra planetary survivalism and back-to-the-land minimalism. Anthropologists have emphasised the social and material forms of technology, and the need to analyse and account for visions of the future and attend to socio-material relations between technologies, humans and other living beings in a shared environment.

FAN explores the anthropological potential for future-oriented methodologies, while EAN generates knowledge on approaches energetic practices of various kinds. This workshop brings these two concerns together, to generate synergies, theoretical trajectories and newly shared research agendas. Where do energy and technology futures intersect? How are human futures implicated in diverse techno-energetic visions? What alternative other human futures are possible in the current techno-energetic world than those extremes delineated above of extraplanetary survivalism and back-to-the-land minimalism? How can anthropologists account for- and intervene- and take part in forging in futures-generation?

The aim is to demonstrate that two relatively new areas of anthropological research and practice can work together to consolidate an agenda for research and intervention. It seeks to both impact on the theory and methodology of the discipline and to advance an anthropological approach to energy futures in an interdisciplinary research field.

Deadline for abstract submission: April 15th 2019

Abstracts (in English) with a maximum length of 500 words should be downloaded on the workshop website

Notifications of acceptance will be communicated by May 1st 2019.

Full papers (in English with a maximum length of 8,000 words including notes and references) will be due by May 30th, 2019.

Fees: The workshop is free of charge, and a limited amount of funding is available to support travel expenses. If you need to request support for travel please contact the organisers regarding this when submitting your abstract.

Organizing and scientific committee:

Pr. Simone Abram, Durham University

Dr. Débora Lanzeni, DLRC Aarhus University

Dr. Nathalie Ortar, LAET, ENTPE-University of Lyon

Pr. Sarah Pink, Monash University

Dr. Karen Waltorp, Aarhus University

Cfp Energy in motion [Energy Anthropology Network]

 EASA 2018: Staying, Moving, Settling

Stockholm August 14 to 17, 2018.

We are pleased to inform you of that you can apply to the next workshop of the Energy Anthropology Network:

Energy in motion (P025)

We are living in an era of rapid change in relation to energy generation, distribution and finance, yet we are also living with enduring effects of past energy activities. The earth is reeling from the effects of GHG associated with industrial energy-conversions, while the scope of energy-related infrastructure continues to grow. How can humans and non-humans live with the legacy of energy-actions? What kind of energy futures are becoming possible? Which energy-practices are settled, and which are here to stay? This first EASA panel of the Energy Anthropology Network invites contributors to address the ‘staying, moving, settling’ found in energy anthropologies, addressing legacies and futures of energy-related practices, beliefs, theories and governance.


  • Nathalie Ortar (ENTPE)
  • Elisabeth Moolenaar (University of Bremen)
Discussant Simone Abram (Durham University)

 The Call for Papers will close on 9 April 2018.

CFP: Making Futures: Green alternatives and STS Interventions

Workshop on “Making Futures: Green alternatives and STS Interventions”

24-25 November 2017

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland

We invite abstracts for a workshop on “Making Future(s): Green alternatives and STS Interventions” which will be held at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, 24-25 November 2017. The workshop is funded by the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST).

During the workshop we want to reflect on problems of environmental degradation and its threat to livelihoods. Remedies to such problems come predominantly in the form of various techno- and market-fixes. Eco-modernist perspectives shape mainstream politics and policies with regard to environment. A good example is the Breakthrough Institute’s Ecomodernist Manifesto (Adafu-Adjaje et al., 2015). Many agendas advocate capitalist ‘acceleration’ in the name of going beyond the current system. These would develop technologies ‘which free us from biological and environmental constraints’, as well as from conventional work (Srnicek and Williams, Accelerationist Manifesto 2013 and Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, 2015).  Amidst policy frameworks promoting new infrastructure for economic growth, alternatives propose ‘green infrastructure’ in various forms (e.g. The Case for Green Infrastructure, 2013).

However, alternative visions of the future and solutions to environmental challenges have also been proposed by social movements, local communities and different other kind of social groups and groupings. For example, social movements demand environmental justice and ‘system change’.  A number of local communities and indigenous peoples, both in the global North and South, have devised lifestyles according to alternative cosmologies that try to escape capitalist notions of nature, politics and economics.  The concept of buen vivir, good life, have become something more than just a slogan inviting to join a consumerist comfort. It has taken shape as an anti-capitalist and environmentalist agenda.

STS has a potential to critically engage with the dominant visions in order to advance politics of creating our common future.  Through this workshop we aim to advance STS theoretical and methodological interventions into both reflecting on and making ‘green futures’. The main questions to engage with are:

(1) What theoretical and methodological approaches in STS have proven to be most fruitful for studying how various visions of ‘green futures’ are made and how they stabilize into social orders? We are interested in conceptualizing technologies for making ‘futures’ and ‘the predictions of future’, new agencies, as well as new socio-technical orders, their scales and temporalities.

(2) How can we advance the current STS approaches to studying the making of the future(s)?  How to analyse the various socio-political constructs of the ‘uncertain’ and ‘green’ futures that dominate the discussion about creating what comes after the present?

(3) What concepts of nature, technology and society underlie these visions?

(4) How do various remedies for the environmental crisis engage with the neoliberal order of contemporary capitalism, either by strengthening or subverting it? In other words, we are also interested in the politics of making diverse future(s).

The organizing team comprises of local and international scholars actively shaping the field of STS: Aleksandra Lis (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland), Małgorzata Kowalska (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland), Piotr Matczak (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland), Agata Stasik (Koźmiński University, Warsaw, Poland) Les Levidow (Open University, UK), Luigi Pellizzoni (University of Pisa)

Invited speaker: Ingmar Lippert (IT-University of Copenhagen)

Deadline for abstracts: May 15th, 2017

300 words, proposing theoretical, empirical and methodological interventions.

Abstracts should be submitted by e-mail to ALL THREE email addresses: Aleksandra Lis, Agata K. Stasik  and Małgorzata Kowalska

Successful applicants will be notified by June 30th, 2017. Full paper drafts should be submitted by November 1st, 2017. A post-workshop publication of the papers is planned.

All paper-giving participants will be hosted at a university housing facility for up to two nights. A limited number of travel bursaries is available upon request.

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