In the current political atmosphere of Western society there has been a desire to re-establish industrial and manufacturing entities within their countries (The Economist 2013). In the UK, the outcome of the Brexit referendum showed how successful had been the appeal to ‘take back control’ as a way to shelter against global change. The image of the closed-down mine or empty factory was displayed prominently within these discussions. Further representations of deindustrialisation in different media and contents have contributed to constructing and reproducing a discourse whose ideological undertones, far from confining it to the realm of symbolic nostalgia, are having profound and differentiated effects.
Scholarly interest in processes of deindustrialization has, so far, been mainly concerned with specific sites like abandoned mines or former industrialized territories transformed into post-industrial spaces. Furthermore, many scholars (Mah 2012, High 2013, Strangleman 2013 ) criticise the processes and recent studies of deindustrialisation and its representation as ‘smokestack nostalgia’ missing insights into the continuing struggle over the meaning of industrial work and its loss, revealing unresolved social, cultural, and political tensions.
This edited volume addresses this problem by suggesting to broaden the perspective on processes of deindustrialization by introducing the concept of landscape and the more-than representational theory (Thrift 2007) to the established discourse. Thus, the book proposes a twofold shift: The first, is away from the notion of specific sites of deindustrialisation and towards a more nuanced understanding of post-industrial landscapes as collections of emerging moments and nodes, where a landscape is a coming into being of multiple actors including humans, animals, ecologies and affects. Secondly, the introduction of the more-than representational approach, which opens up broader perspectives on practices of rhetorical exploitation, discursive representations and performative approaches of dealing with the industrial past, loss and regeneration. Therefore, this provides insights into processes of re-assessing/re-imagining the industrial past, which is essentially future related and the accompanied processes of historical knowledge production and meaning making.
How to contribute?
The editors invite contributions in English from disciplines ranging from history, geography, anthropology, sociology, performance studies, to heritage, memory and cultural studies. The contributions should focus either on practices, narratives, perspectives of the actors or emergent activities that are currently creating and remaking postindustrial landscapes across Europe. Each contribution should refer to more-than representational approaches and focus on either one specific landscape/region or apply a comparative perspective of two cases. Theoretical discussions of the relationship between more-than representational approaches and the well-established discourses of heritage, memory, performance, and other theoretical approaches of meaning making are very welcome, but should be embedded into a case study.
At this stage, we request a submission of a title and a 200 word abstract of your article, as well as, a short biography of the author(s). The deadline for submitting titles and abstracts is 28 February 2018. A decision will be made of final selection by April 2018. Final drafts will be planned for submission in January 2019. For information, final submissions should be 8,000 - 10,000 words (including references) and include no more than two images. The volume will be peer reviewed. The geographical focus of the volume is Europe. All contributions should be based on original research and be as yet unpublished. The volume will be submitted to a respected publishing press mid 2019.