Call for Papers - 74th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers

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Home Call for Papers - 74th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers
April 02 2024

The Department of Geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador will host the 74th CAG Annual Meeting in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador,  August 14-18, 2024! ! 

Session Title: Mining, legacy waste, and logics of extractivism

Session Type: Regular Talk (15-minute); in-person.

Organizers: Caitlynn Beckett (Memorial University of Newfoundland); Arn Keeling (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

Session abstract: 

Modern mining is fundamentally a waste management industry. Sebastian Ureta and Patricio Flores trace the “logic of residualism” (the so-called 'waste') produced by extraction that entails an intense technical and logistical focus on “the production and management of colossal amounts of mining residues, mostly tailings.” Access to public air, lands, and waters for waste containment, disposal or dispersal is integral to the mineral development process; without it, mining simply cannot proceed. Gabrielle Hecht links this logic to forms of waste governance that treat people and places as wastelands, while constraining or minimizing the forms and forums of knowledge used to reduce, mitigate or repair pollution and toxicity. Yet the current global drive to exploit “critical” mineral resources to support the transition away from fossil fuels fails to acknowledge how the twinned logics of extractivism and residualism threaten to (re)produce environmental damage and injustice in the name of climate mitigation.

This session invites contributions from researchers, students, and collaborators confronting the logics of residualism, waste, and extractivism across the mining cycle, whether in Canada or elsewhere. We invite contributions that consider the social and political aspects of waste management, reclamation, and resistance in various locations and contexts. Potential themes and topics could include:

  •         Historical geographies of mine waste and pollution
  •         Intersections of mineral development, mine closure, reclamation, and (settler) colonial relations
  •         “Residual governance” of mine waste, including environmental assessment and reclamation
  •         Community response, reaction, and resistance to “wastelanding”
  •         Community-led and/or culturally informed strategies of mine reclamation

Please send inquiries and/or paper abstracts (max 250 words), including the title of the proposed contribution, name of author(s), affiliation (e.g., Memorial University), role (e.g., student, faculty, research collaborator, or other), and contact information to Arn Keeling ( by Wednesday, April 17th. We will notify participants by April 23rd (e.g., in advance of the CAG conference’s April 27th early bird deadline). Papers unable to be included in the special session are welcome for submission to the general conference call: