Call for Abstracts: “Learning from Disaster: A Decade After the Mount Polley Tailings Dam Failure”

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Call for Abstracts:

“Learning from Disaster: A Decade After the Mount Polley Tailings Dam Failure”

Guest Editors: Neil Nunn and Max Chewinski

The editors of BC Studies invite proposals from a wide range of disciplines for empirical and/or theoretical research focused on the 2014 Mount Polley disaster and its aftermath. Peer-reviewed scholarship in the form of a research article is preferred, but research notes, photo essays, scholarly podcasts, and soundworks are also welcome, as are non-peer-reviewed scholarship in the form of reflections. For more details, please see the BC Studies submission guidelines.

Publication of this special issue in 2024 will mark 10 years since the catastrophic Mount Polley tailings dam failure on Northern Secwépemc territory in the central interior of British Columbia. Millions of cubic metres of mine wastewater flooded into Quesnel Lake, a critical salmon habitat, primary water source for nearby residents, and a fundamental part of a living system of relationships within Secwépemculewc. The cascading effects of the Mount Polley spill call for assessing its social, political, and ecological consequences over time, at different scales, and across cultural contexts.

Potential topics for the special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Histories of disruption, violence, and dispossession in British Columbia
  • Grassroots and civil society mobilization at the local, national and/or international level
  • Secwépemc and rural community response and recovery efforts
  • Corporate, industry association, and government responses
  • Indigenous and Western science, law, regulation, and planning
  • Connections to climate change, biodiversity, and socio-ecological challenges from other extractive industries
  • Media framing of the spill across sources, scales, and time

Please submit an extended abstract (500-750 words) by Friday November 18th, 2022 to Neil Nunn (neilnunn [@] and Max Chewinski (max.chewinski [@] The extended abstract should articulate the:

(1) proposed research project (e.g., research question(s), theory, method, data, and findings)

(2) type of submission (e.g., research article, podcast, etc.)

Authors will be notified by December 1st, 2022 if they are invited to submit their work.

Final submissions will be due on June 1st, 2023. All submitted papers will undergo the BC Studies peer-review process.

Feature image: A photo of Hazeltine Creek. Mining waste made its way through Hazeltine Creek before being deposited in Quesnel Lake. Photo by Max Chewinski.
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