Call for Submissions

Extended Deadline (Mar. 15, 2022)

 Struggles over Mining and Territory in South and North-America 

The editors of fiar forum for inter-american research invite scholars to submit articles (in English, Spanish o Portuguese) for a special issue: “Struggles over Mining and Territory in South and North-America.” Edited by Anna Preiser and Ann-Kathrin Volmer. 

Since 1492, Latin America has been one of the world´s most important exporters, in the extractivist tradition, of mining products such as silver, gold, copper, zinc, iron ore, nickel and also, recently, lithium. Mining, as a key element of extractivism, is an inherent part of capitalism and a huge production sector as well as an important pillar for some national economies, even more so since the resource boom starting at the beginning of the millennium. Countries traditionally known for their mining activities—such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, or Canada—as well as countries with no such historical traditions—such as Argentina and Ecuador—have been expanding their mining sectors. 

With the help of foreign investments and modern technologies alongside the deterioration of the quality of ores, the mining frontier has expanded to more sensitive areas, ecologically and socially, and mining projects have become more extensive. Historically, mining activities have had immense impact on landscapes, using large amounts of water, creating waste, and contaminating the surroundings negatively affecting local environments. Benefits have been distributed unequally with local populations often at a disadvantage. Then, as now, mining affects the lives and living conditions of people, leading to a wide-ranging set of conflicts and struggles on local, regional, and global levels. The material, symbolic, and social reproduction of communities on a local scale is based on particular territorialities. The ongoing valorization of nature and the imposition of mining activities alter these territorialities and have led to socio-ecological struggles and resistance. Private, often multinational actors, national economies, and state income could profit from the resource booms and the expansion of mining. However, territories across the subcontinent have been threatened by an expanding mining frontier guided by an extractivist, productivist pattern. Within an expanded understanding, territory can be described as the socio-natural relations influenced by relations of power, comprised of material, as well as symbolic, cultural, spiritual, social, political, and identity-marking resources. In the context of mining, resource rich territories are reduced to their economic value, thus conflicts surrounding the valorization of different aspects within territories emerge. 

In this special issue, we focus on the specificities of the mining sector and territorial tensions that have been created in Latin America and/or North America. We invite contributions discussing questions about struggles concerning the construction of territory in both material and symbolic terms, and the tensions and competition that arise in the context of the imposition of mining activities from diverse disciplines and perspectives. We further welcome contributions discussing and introducing different notions of territory, be it as a conceptual approach or as an empirical term. These may also include examples of alternative concepts such as buen vivir, pervivir, the ethics of care, or the commons

We would like to address the following guiding questions: 

What are the historic and current features and scope of (neo-)extractivism on the frontier of mining? What is particular to extractivism through mining compared to other forms of extractivism? Which human or more-than human agents on different scales are relevant in mining related struggles over territory? What can we learn about how territories in mining conflicts are constructed? How can we methodologically and theoretically grasp territory as a field of contestation and negotiation in these same conflicts? 

The nexus between extractivist activities mining conflicts, and territory has become increasingly visible and discussed both in social movements and local struggles, as well as in academic debates, especially in Latin America. Therefore, this special issue offers a contribution to this emerging field of research. 

Guidelines: Authors who wish to contribute to the special issue are invited to send an abstract (maximum 500 words) including the title, authors and institutional affiliation to ann-kathrin.volmer@uni-bielefeld.de by EXTENDED DEADLINE March 15th, 2022. By March 31th, you will receive information on the acceptance of your abstract. The complete article must be submitted by the end of June 2022 in a maximum of 7.500-10.000 words (MLA style). Submissions can be made in Spanish, English and Portuguese. The special issue of the FIAR is expected to be published in December 2022. 

The forum for inter-american research (fiar) is the official electronic journal of the International Association of Inter-American Studies. It was established by the American Studies Program at Bielefeld University in 2008. We foster a dialogic and interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Americas. fiar is a peer-reviewed online journal. Articles in this journal undergo a double-blind review process and are published in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. We do not charge readers or institutions for full text access. The editorial board consists of a broad range of international scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. fiar is ASA, EBSCO and MLA registered. 

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