PhD graduate conference

Extraction: Multiple Frontiers of Power and Resistance, June 3-4, Central European University, Vienna

Keynote speakers: Sandro Mezzadra, Professor, Department of Arts, University of Bologna, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago

One of the most significant aspects of late capitalism is the constant proliferation of new frontiers that are getting subjected to extractive processes. Our graduate conference centers on the analytical aspects of extraction. We aim to explore the processes in which extraction becomes the foundation of global capitalism and how it blunders into dangerous, destructive forces. Extraction as a concept brings diverse frontiers together and opens the ways to inquire how contemporary forms of power and resistance have been enacted. 

From fracking to plasma donation, financialized rental housing to big data analytics, processes of extraction are intimately related to pushing the frontiers of capital and valorizations of what is not yet commodified. Corporations, local governments, states, and the public are the usual and visible actors in furthering, managing, or blocking extraction. However, this process also involves the very materials that are being subjects of extraction. Minerals, cells and tissues, apartments, data, forests, affect, and many other actants are imbricated in this process. Most importantly, extraction is often embedded with colonial, biopolitical, racial, and gendered geographies of late capitalism. 

 It is not a process passively endured, but it often generates resistance and dissent. Social movements arise against land and water grabbing which are intimately intertwined with climate and indigenous activism. Data extraction triggers concerns over privacy and data protection, as well as the erosion of the public sphere. These are just a few examples of the various forms of resistance springing up around the increasingly diverse modes of extraction. 

To discuss and further understand the scope of extraction, we welcome proposals for individual presentations from the fields of anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and humanities that aim to theoretically and empirically engage with the concepts of extraction, frontiers, power, and resistance. 200- words abstracts should be sent to by April 15, 2022. Please signal in the abstract your affiliation and geographical provenience as some travel support will be available on a need basis.