28-30 September 2023 – Trondheim, Norway

Filipe Calvão (Geneva Graduate Institute), Espen Storli (NTNU), Nikkie Wiegink (Utrecht University)

The Workshop is jointly organized by a Swiss-Norwegian team from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the Geneva Graduate Institute, under the auspices of the European Association of Social Anthropologists’ Mining network, with funding from EASA and the European Research Council’s Synthlives project (grant 950672).

The extraction of natural resources — particularly rare earth elements and other metals and minerals required to meet rising “clean” energy demand — has been hailed in recent years as a means to transition to a future low-carbon economy. This trend of “green” extractivism has led to the expansion of new resource frontiers, oftentimes reproducing old patterns of accumulation and dispossession. Big industries have aligned their discourses with these environmental imperatives, playing the “green card” as allies in the struggle against environmental problems, including climate change debates. These “green” strategies risk creating new resource dependencies and environmental inequalities based on the imposition of specific models of “progress.” The growing demand for these ‘green’ commodities has also led to new dynamics in global supply chains, with countries in the global North emerging as suppliers of critical minerals and metals.

This workshop gathers junior scholars from anthropology, history, and the social sciences more broadly, whose research examines the paradoxes and contradictions — past and present — inherent in environmentally-sound supply chains of critical natural commodities. These disciplines have recently undergone a “material turn”, and the workshop brings together research on the conundrums of contemporary “green” commodity chains from historical and anthropological perspectives.

The workshop is designed as a writing and discussion meeting, where each participant will be asked to briefly present their pre-circulated paper and gather feedback from invited discussants and other participants. The workshop will include a field visit to retired and possible future mining sites in Norway, including copper and cobalt. 

Date and Location:
The workshop will take place in Trondheim, Norway, from the 28th to the 30th of September 2023

How to Apply:
To apply, please fill out the following google formThe deadline is the 15th of June. We welcome drafts of dissertation chapters, MA theses, or book chapters (unpublished). Particularly PhD candidates and young scholars are encouraged to apply. Only participants who can join the full three days of the workshop will be considered. 

There is limited funding available for travel and accommodation, for participants who cannot rely on funding from their institution to participate.

If you have questions that need to be addressed before submitting your application please email them to: [email protected], otherwise you may note them in the Google form.