RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London, 29th August – 1st September 2017
Resource Temporalities: Anticipations, Retentions and Afterlives
Session Convenors: Dr Kärg Kama (Oxford, Geography) & Dr Gisa Weszkalnys (LSE, Anthropology)
Deadline: 5th February 2017
Recent work in resource geography and anthropology has demonstrated the need to move beyond issues of resource control and distribution toward a critical examination of how resources are made (Bridge 2013, Kama 2013, Li 2014, Richardson and Weszkalnys 2014). A focus on resource-making draws attention to the distributed quality of resources as always in-becoming, rather than biophysically or geophysically given, substances. It also reveals their indeterminate and often speculative nature as the outcome of a variety of techno-scientific, governmental, entrepreneurial, and financial practices (e.g. Majury 2014, Valdivia 2015, Weszkalnys 2015, Zalik 2015). Inherent to this process of resource-making are important temporal aspects, which have remained remarkably underexplored. In this session, we take the existing literature as a springboard to ask new questions about the multiple temporalities generated by processes of resource-making ranging from anticipations of resource matters, to their diverse retentions, to other temporal and material states once processed or unmade as a resource.
Resource-making rarely follows a linear trajectory. Its projected successes are often no more than a grasping for self-fulfilling prophecies, and its achievements are partly bound to the legacies of past and present resource production through types of path-dependency and lock-ins. Current examples of resource-making projects highlight their incremental yet spatio-temporally contingent nature, including the mortgaging of hydrocarbon futures by emerging producer states, a practice recently called into question by falling oil prices; the constitution of “reclaimed” landscapes in the context of mine decommissioning and closure; the production of overinflated resource estimates in the quest for “unconventional” fossil fuels and novel extractive spaces (e.g. ocean seabeds); as well as the specific modes of financialisation now encountered at resource frontiers, which produce various absences and presences across the domains of science and market. Important questions are also raised by the parallel life of extractive waste products and by projects of resource-making that have been blocked or indefinitely postponed due to scientific, political, or economic factors.
We invite papers that explore the diverse engagements with time that underpin these and other resource-making endeavours, drawing on a range of methods and trans-disciplinary analytical approaches. Contributions may address (but are not limited to) the following themes:
For more information on the conference, please see the following link: http://www.rgs.org/WhatsOn/ConferencesAndSeminars/Annual+International+Conference/Annual+international+conference.htm
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