TWO CfPs: Law & Extractivism in the Anthropocene AND: The Inhuman in the Human: Laws for the Anthropocene

by | 22 Feb 2023

Law & Extractivism in the Anthropocene 
Extractivism, as an organising concept of our times, turns on appropriation, non-reciprocity, depletion, and subjugation. Its ideology and practices are entwined with the histories and legacies of colonialism and imperialism, as well as the entrenched operations and politics of capitalism across time and space. Extractivism has produced a racialised global political economy, characterised by the removal of raw materials from the Global South for processing and consumption in the Global North, reproducing relations of dependency, unequal development and uneven accumulation. An understanding of increasingly intense struggles between states, transnational corporations and local communities over land and place demands an understanding of the dynamics that have shaped the global extractivist economy. 

This workshop brings together established and emerging scholars to explore the relationship between law and extractivism in the Anthropocene, a moment of reckoning for human hubris and epistemological hegemony. Taking the dominant definition of extractivism as our point of departure, which affirms a non-reciprocal and hierarchised relation between life and nonlife, human and nonhuman, we invite presentations on the following themes: 

  • Critical historical accounts of how laws facilitate resource extraction, including how such laws are globalised and enabled by institutional practices. 
  • Theorisation of how such laws are authorised by specific representational practices, knowledges and assumptions and a presumed distinction between life and nonlife. 
  • Examinations of the relationship between extractivism and legal regimes in international and comparative perspective, such as property, patents, contract, international economic law. 
  • Examinations of connections between law and social movements in resistance to extraction and/or repair of its harm. 
  • Explorations of transformation practices and institutions for a non-extractivist legal order and key legal reforms to reorient current dynamics of appropriation and control toward more sustainable and equitable approaches to sharing the Earth’s resources. 

Participants are invited to submit an abstract by Friday 31 March 2023. Please submit an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a short bio here. We aim to notify all applicants by 14 April 2023. We ask that accepted participants share a draft of their paper (4000-5000 words) by 9 July 2023, and we aim to explore publication options in an edited collection or journal special issue. Please contact with any questions or queries. 

Link to the Call for Papers

La Trobe Law School, Melbourne, Australia 24 & 25 July 2023 

Limited financial assistance may be available upon request, and priority will be given to casual academic workers and scholars working in the Global South.

Organised by Kathleen Birrell, Martin Clark and Julia Dehm

Workshop 2: The Inhuman in the Human: Laws for the Anthropocene
Workshop & Masterclass
20-21 July 2023 La Trobe Law School, Melbourne
Our place on the planet is uncertain. The escalating ecological and atmospheric degradation of climate change confronts and confounds us. Conventional approaches to environmental conservation and stewardship in the Western legal tradition are inadequate in the context of the Anthropocene. Dialogues between disparate disciplinary approaches and legal traditions are required to think beyond established legal and political knowledges, practices and techniques, to reimagine and rework laws for the Anthropocene.

You are warmly invited to participate in a workshop and masterclass featuring Professor Margaret Davies, author of EcoLaw Legality, Life, and the Normativity of Nature. The intent is to share work in progress and foster cross disciplinary scholarly community, with a focus on law and the inhuman and law in/as nature, and to engage with the work of Professor Davies.

The workshop will also feature an author meets reader session with Roanna McClelland, for a reading and conversation about her award winning new book, The Comforting Weight of Water (Wakefield Press, 2023).

Workshop: Thu 20 July 2023
This workshop will bring together a broad group of participants from a variety of disciplines Participants may be established or emerging scholars, including doctoral students. Limited bursaries are available for early career and postgraduate participants without institutional funding.

Academic Presentations might consider:

  • Knowledges, practices or techniques of law and politics that perpetuate ecological degradation or injustice
  • Encounters, dialogues or relationships that reorientate laws toward climate justice, accountability or obligation

Masterclass: Fri 21 July 2023
Early Career Academics (including doctoral researchers) are invited to participate in this masterclass, to develop works in progress and to engage with the work of Professor Margaret Davies Participants are invited from a range of scholarly fields, not limited to law Professor Davies will read and comment on the work of three participants Up to four non presenting participants who wish to participate in the discussion will also be accepted for attendance

Link to the Call for Papers

Please submit an abstract and short bio here by Fri 31 March 2023.

Organised by Kathleen Birrell


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