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Ethnographies of extraction and extraversion in Africa [Sponsored by the International African Institute/ Africa: the journal of the International African Institute] 
Rosalie Allain (University of Oxford)
Stephanie Postar (London School of Economics and Political Science)
David Pratten (Oxford University)
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Format :
Streams :
Anthropology (x) Futures (y)
Friday 2 June, -, Friday 2 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This panel showcases contemporary ethnographic research on extraction and ‘extraversion’ in Africa. We consider resource-making as a core historical and contemporary arena for extraversion, and explore how it constitutes the continent's past, present and futures.

Long Abstract:

The anthropology of extractive industries offers a critical perspective on key processes that constitute Africa’s global entanglements (e.g.: labour, migration, capital flows, conservation), in turn shaping its internal political economic dynamics. By examining these processes through the lens of extraction, this panel situates resource-making as a core, historical and contemporary, social arena of ‘extraversion’.

Following Bayart, we understand strategies of extraversion as modes of action through which resources are mobilised through often unequal, external relationships with the world, that place Africans not at the margins but as connected, active agents in the relations of dependence that they facilitate and oppose. Our panel aims to examine the relationship between processes of extraversion and resource extraction and considers how the former may help us problematise the analytic categories of ‘resources’ and ‘extraction’.

Drawing on extractive ethnographies across the continent, we will critically engage with conceptualisations and dynamics of ‘extraversion’, examining its manifestations across a variety of domains (aesthetic, political economic, ecological and technological), scales, relationships and temporalities. Bringing together extraversion and extraction, this panel draws from recent anthropological studies of resources to further illuminate their future-making potential, and related processes of speculation and emergence. At the same time, it takes seriously their embeddedness in local historicities and structural forces patterned by agency, subjection and dependency as highlighted by Bayart. In doing so, this panel will explore the centrality and diversity of extractive relations in constituting Africa’s past, present and futures, and how these are locally situated, imagined and contested in lived experience.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -