Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes: Humanities, artistic and activist responses
takes a transnational and interdisciplinary approach to exploring interactions between creative arts practices and local activism in the transition from mining to post-mining.

Comprising three strands (methodologies, site studies and creative responses) and generating both artistic and academic outputs, the project draws on literary studies, anthropology, history, environmental studies, bio-archaeology and activist art practice to investigate former, ongoing and proposed sites of mining in Ireland, Germany, Estonia, South Africa, Oceania and the Gulf Coast of the United States

The Project

“Over Turn”. oil and mixed media on canvas, 50 x 40 cm, 2021, Judy Carroll Deeley

Led by the UCD Humanities Institute (PI: Professor Anne Fuchs, Co-Is: Dr Sarah Comyn, Dr Megan Kuster) this project involves a collaboration with the UCD Earth and Discovery Institutes (University College Dublin, Ireland), the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), the Centre of Excellence in Intercultural Studies (Tallinn University, Estonia), the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa), the School of Culture, History and Language (Australian National University) and the Humanities Research and Environmental Studies Centers (Rice University, U.S.A.), ‘Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes’ was selected by the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) to lead a two-year Andrew W. Mellon-funded Global Humanities Institute (GHI) 2023.

The project will develop through a pre, main and post-institute in 2023, each hosted by a different partner institution, with opportunities to participate online. The Institutes are scheduled to take place as follows:

  • Pre-Institute – 28-30 April 2023 (hosted by Tallinn University, Estonia)
  • Main Institute – 4-8 July 2023 (hosted by University College Dublin, Ireland)
  • Post-Institute – 28-30 November 2023 (hosted by the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa)

Contact for more information.


Principal Investigators

Professor Anne Fuchs
Professor Anne Fuchs MRIA, FBA, Director of the UCD Humanities Institute
University College Dublin
Dr Sarah Comyn
Dr Sarah Comyn Lecturer/Assistant Professor (Ad Astra Fellow), PI of 'Imperial Minerals' (Irish Research Council)
University College Dublin
Dr Megan Kuster
Dr Megan Kuster Project Manager 'Post-extractivist legacies and landscapes' project, UCD Humanities Institute
University College Dublin

Institutional Leads

Professor Marek Tamm
Professor Marek Tamm Professor of Cultural History (School of Humanities)
Tallinn University (Estonia)
Professor Eeva Kesküla
Professor Eeva Kesküla Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Tallinn University (Estonia)
Professor Sarah Nuttall
Professor Sarah Nuttall Director, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, (WiSER)
University of Witwatersrand (South Africa)
Professor Hlonipha Mokoena
Professor Hlonipha Mokoena Associate Professor at WiSER
University of Witwatersrand (South Africa)
Professor Keith Breckenridge
Professor Keith Breckenridge Professor and Deputy Director at WiSER
University of Witwatersrand (South Africa)
Dean Kathleen Canning
Dean Kathleen Canning Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History, Humanities Research Center
Rice University (USA)
Professor Joseph Campana
Professor Joseph Campana William Shakespeare Professor of English, Center for Environmental Studies
Rice University (USA)
Dr Weston Twardowski
Dr Weston Twardowski Program Manager Diluvial Houston Initiative, Rice University Instructor in the Center for Environmental Studies and the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts
Rice University (USA)
Professor Katerina Teaiwa
Professor Katerina Teaiwa Professor of Pacific Studies and Deputy Director of the Higher Degree Research Training in the School of Culture, History and Language, School of Culture, History and Language
Australia National University (Australia)

Project Artist

Judy Carroll Deeley
Judy Carroll Deeley UCD Project Artist (Visual Artist)
University College Dublin

Project Partners

Dr Tomas Buitendijk
Dr Tomas Buitendijk Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University College Dublin
Professor Tasman Crowe
Professor Tasman Crowe Director, UCD Earth Institute
University College Dublin
Dr Sharae Deckard
Dr Sharae Deckard Associate Professor, UCD School of English, Drama and Film
University College Dublin
Dr Helen Doherty
Dr Helen Doherty Lecturer with IADT National Film School in the Film and Media Department; committee member of the Royal Television Society (RoI); advisor for the Dublin City Council Culture Company
Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Dr Katherine Fama
Dr Katherine Fama Lecturer/Assistant Professor, School of English, Drama and Film
University College Dublin
Professor P.J. Matthews
Professor P.J. Matthews Director of the Creative Futures Academy (UCD), School of English, Drama and Film
University College Dublin
Ian Maleney
Ian Maleney Writer and freelance arts journalist
Dr Linda Mbeki
Dr Linda Mbeki Postdoctoral Fellow University of Pretoria, Assistant Curator Iziko Museums of South Africa, and Visiting Fellow at UCD’s Discovery and Humanities Institutes in 2022
Iziko Museums of South Africa
Simon O’Connor
Simon O’Connor Director of MoLI
Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI)
Dr Nicolas Pillai,
Dr Nicolas Pillai, Lecturer/Assistant Professor, School of English, Drama and Film
University College Dublin
Benedict Schlepper-Connolly
Benedict Schlepper-Connolly Head of Exhibitions, Digital & Programming
Museum of Literature Ireland


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Creative Futures Academy