From the Call: Among the oldest of technologies, the extractive industries involve the removal and processing of raw materials from the earth for energy and manufacturing, and by the early twentieth century their global scale of operation transformed entire regions and markets as well as large areas of the earth’s surface. As Sir Neil Cossons has keenly observed, “the world came of age in the twentieth century[;] a century endowed at its outset with immense industrial power, widespread prosperity, and emerging technologies that were to affect the lives of every person on the planet.” The exploitation of the earth’s raw materials altered the landscape with vast quarries, deep mines, enormous kilns and furnaces, and mill buildings. This legacy also created the most far-reaching of all global transformations: climate change. Today many of these industrial centers are obsolete and abandoned but rich in historical value as the intersection of geology, technology, and culture. They are an important part of modern life and their stories are still accessible through the visual testimony of the land, the structures, and the machinery, as well as the stories of those who last labored there. Many such sites are also environmental brownfields, making them doubly important as landscapes of remediation. They are part of a complex landscape that now demands consideration of its latent architectural, ecological, and socio-cultural assets.
2013 marked the 50th anniversary of Kenneth Hudson’s groundbreaking book and manifesto on ‘‘industrial archaeology,’’ the mongrel field he first named as the bastard offspring of industry and archaeology. Today the remains of industry past dominate the global landscape, and the extractive industries are no exception. Town and country are littered with the evidence of the last two centuries of former industrial prowess and many of these places, now abandoned, hold latent value for their transformation and reuse. But the brick yards, cement plants, coal and ore mines, oil fields, and quarries all pose enormous difficulties for preservation and reuse.
Despite the recent popularity of industrial chic, critics now question whether this form of ‘‘adhocism’’—that is, the improvisation of new, unrelated uses devoid of meaning and interpretation—has led to, at best, a polite taming of industrial heritage, and, at worst, its grotesque disfigurement in the name of gentrification and short-sighted corporate marketing. A shift in thinking is now beginning and required for more sustainable preservation: thematic approaches that examine the problems and potential based on the original industrial processes; consideration and interventions at the landscape scale; ecological as well as architectural mediation; and finally, human connections through past and current associations.
This issue will explore landscapes of extraction. We look for a range of topics that include case studies, theoretical and philosophical examinations of the topic, the position of industrial heritage in the larger heritage and historic preservation discourse on placemaking, social and cultural histories, adaptive reuse, and ecological remediation.
Abstracts of 200-300 words are due 1 July 2016. Authors will be notified of provisional paper acceptance by late July 2016. Final manuscript submissions will be due early November 2016.
Articles are generally restricted to 7,500 or fewer words (the approximate equivalent to thirty pages of double-spaced, twelve-point type) and may include up to ten images. See author guidelines for full details, or email Senior Associate Editor, Kecia Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.