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Durham University

Centre for Cultural Ecologies

Centre for Culture and Ecology

What We Do

The Centre for Culture and Ecology consists of a group of scholars and researchers who work on environmental issues from a range of different disciplines. We are particularly interested in thinking ecology as constitutively implicated in struggles around class, gender, race and sexuality.

The Centre hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the newly launched series on “Capitalism, Nature and Climate Change.” The Centre aims to foster and stimulate debate between scholars, activists and the general public around pressing current ecological issues.

NEW Series: Capitalism, Nature and Climate Change

Organised by the Centre for Culture and Ecology

Thanks to the efforts of activists across the globe, the Climate Crisis is now at the forefront of public debate. What this series aims to address is the centrality of understanding capitalism to tackling the climate crisis. This series takes as its starting point the idea that the climate crisis must be understood as a crisis of capitalism. The talks address this issue from a variety of different perspectives. The series is open to the public.

For info, email

Forthcoming Events

Capitalism, Nature and Climate Change

23rd January 2020, 17:00 to 19:00, 149 Elvet Riverside 1

"African Extraction: Then and Now"

Talk by Dr Christine Okoth

This talk discusses four extractive sites across the African continent, demonstrating how extraction generates a set of formal logics that shape the production of culture in the contemporary black Atlantic world. It takes up the challenges posed by what Sandro Mezzadra and Brett Neilson have called ‘the multiple frontiers of extraction’ through a comparison of mica in Namibia, cocoa in Ghana, coltan in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and oil in Nigeria. Each region and commodity point to the operations that characterise extractive practices at their contemporary frontiers. Through the works of visual artists Otobong Nkanga and Ibrahim Mahama as well as the writings of Dionne Brand and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, this talk suggests that focusing on the logics produced by extraction can offer us ways of understanding historic and contemporary forms of racial subjection. Looking onto what Macarena Gómez-Barris calls ‘the extractive zone’ from the perspective of sub-Saharan Africa, these works consider how extractive logics refigure the relationships between labour, land, and capital circulation. In so doing, they reveal both the contemporary encroachments of extractivism’s disaggregrating impulse and its historic entanglement in processes of racialisation.

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Research Projects