To adequately tackle the various environmental crises of the Anthropocene, technological solutions won’t suffice. The populations of so-called developed countries, mainly in the West, will have to have a more fundamental reckoning with their way of living and the mentality that supports it. Historically and today, this way of living relies heavily on various modes of extraction as well as the material and discursive externalization of extraction’s environmental and social costs. In this course, we will study the cultural aspect of extractive sociopolitical systems to critically assess how they enact, legitimize and appreciate extraction. The various modes of extraction we will study – week by week – include geological mining, colonialism, slavery/race, labor under capitalism and debt-based economies as well as data mining. We will also be looking for proposed alternatives. The prospective reading list includes texts by Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson, Kathryn Yussof, Vaclav Smil, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Imre Szeman, Leanne Simpson, Isabel Wilkerson, Elizabeth Povinelli, Johan Rockström, Thea Riofrancos, Kate Crawford, Stephan Lessenich, George Monbiot, Tiziana Terranova, Achille Mbembe, Sylvia Wynter, Maurizio Lazzarato.
Fill out the form on this page. Please be sure to specify your master program and university, and provide a brief motivation in the ‘remarks’-section. The maximum number of students for the course is 30.
The meetings will be held at the University of Amsterdam (pandemic permitting) and take place on Thursday afternoons, most likely from 3-5pm.