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April 25 th: Final program available here.


April 25 th: The final book of abstracts is available here.


Beautiful program wrap-up in one slide is available here


The workshop will start at 9.00 on Thursday the 27th of April and continue until 13.00 on Saturday the 29th of April (finishing of with a lunch).

For you who arrive on Wednesday, there is an opportunity to meet us in a pub close to university, the city centre and railway station.

We are also working on arranging an art performance on waste on the evening of Friday the 28th, with some snacks, and yes, wine.

We will regularly update the program. See here under for information about the two keynotes.

On Friday afternoon, the workshop will even offer the opportunity for participants to visit Vera Park, Helsingborg’s main waste recovery facility, and be introduced to NSR's innovative model of municipal solid waste governance.

We look forward meeting you in Helsingborg on April 27-29, 2017.


Keynote #1 : Professor Gay Hawkins

Western Sydney University, Australia  

Thursday morning, on a link

Accounting for the Social in Sociotechnical Accounts of Waste?

Much of the recent literature on waste begins from the assumption that technocratic approaches focussed on managing it deny its complex social and political life. Analysing this life is at the heart of the burgeoning literature on waste across numerous social sciences and humanities disciplines. But is this replacing technical determinism with social determinism? Are contemporary waste studies – as theoretically sophisticated as they often are - in danger of what Woolgar and Neyland (2013) call ‘closet constructivism’? This address wrestles with the idea of waste as provoked, as an emergent effect or event in which difficult or new realities surface and pose challenges to us. The issue is how are these realities realized and accounted for and how does the contingency of waste become implicated in governing? Is it possible to claim that far from governing waste in the interests of efficiency or the environment we are actually governed by it?


Gay Hawkins is a Research Professor in Social and Cultural Theory at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University, Australia. She works on theories of materiality, ethics and practices of everyday life, and the place of waste and water in contemporary political processes. In 2006 she published The Ethics of Waste (Rowman and Littlefield). Her most recent book, co-authored with Kane Race and Emily Potter, is Plastic Water: the social and material life of bottled water (MIT Press, 2015).


Keynote #2: Professor Myra Hyrd

Queen's University, Canada

Friday morning, on site

Looking for Redemption in all the Wrong Places: Environmental Citizenship and the Long Duré of Waste Contamination

Canadian municipalities, like those in other countries, all emphasize the 3R’s of waste: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Of these, recycling is the least environmentally friendly but encourages circuits of capitalist production and consumption. Using primary and secondary empirical data, this presentation will argue that governments in cooperation with the corporate waste industry successfully foster an ‘environmental citizenship’ identity based on individual and household waste diversion even though this accounts for a tiny fraction of waste’s global production. As such, waste is a prescient example of neo-liberal governmentality that successfully manages populations, and diverts attention away from far more salient upstream waste issues that require democratic dialogue and collective action. I argue for the urgency of bearing witness to our global waste footprint based on our vulnerability to unpredictable and unknowable bio-geologic forces and the long durée of waste contamination.


Myra J. Hird is Professor, Queen's National Scholar, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada ( Professor Hird is Director of Canada’s Waste Flow, an interdisciplinary research program focused on waste as a global scientific-technical and socio-ethical issue (, and Director of the genera Research Group (gRG), an interdisciplinary research network of collaborating natural, social, and humanities scholars focused on the topic of waste. Hird has published nine books and over seventy articles and book chapters on a diversity of topics relating to science studies.