Opening the bin: why?
The production and management of waste comprise a vast array of socio-material practices that together shape many aspects of contemporary culture and society. Simultaneously, the challenges of climate and environmental change and the contribution of society’s consumption to global warming and natural resource depletion make the issue of waste management crucial for contemporary societies and for their wider ecological footprints. Yet, despite its eminently social and cultural nature, waste often remains merely positioned in theoretical and practical discourses as a technical and natural scientific issue. Social scientific and humanist research on waste is alive and well, but splintered, and with a limited impact on what ends up in bins and dumpsters.
The purpose of this two-day transdisciplinary workshop is to gather scholars from the social sciences and the humanities together with practitioners to critically discuss the places, roles and trajectories as well as the meanings, practices, and vocabularies of waste in culture and society. Here are a few examples of questions that might emerge during the workshop: How can the humanities and the social sciences prompt new ways to imagine, conceptualize and characterize waste and its management? How do discourses on waste (and related discourses about de-growth or circular economy) travel as ideas and practices, and how are they translated and materialized in new contexts? What are the implications of waste production and management with regard to democracy, welfare and environmental justice?
Book the dates: April 27-29, 2017. Also feel also free to forward this invitation through your networks.