This workshop brings together early career academics and advanced graduate students whose research engages critically with the ways in which this profound transformation of the planet and its support systems also entails shifts in our understandings and practices of science and politics. By nature an interdisciplinary discussion, we invite scholars from all disciplines to submit proposals for inclusion in a series of roundtable discussions before an open audience at Rutgers University, March 27-28, 2014.
In this special issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, authors reflect on how, when and why art has been used to articulate destruction over the past decades. Their essays are a glimpse into the topics that were recently discussed at the 2013 Doomsday Clock Symposium in Washington, DC.
Despite San Francisco’s 80% diversion rate, the average person sends about 2.7 pounds per day to landfills. On a per person basis, it would seem that record-setting San Franciscans send roughly the same quantities to the dump as their friends in other places in the US. Samantha MacBride explains the logics behind these statistics.
This review of Nikhil Anand’s dissertation, Infrapolitics: The Social Life of Water in Mumbai, written by Tarini Bedi, will be of interest to discard studies scholars because of the methodological approach and how it highlights the politics of infrastructure.
Jason De León and uses discards left through undocumented migration on the US/Mexico border to narrate the social, political, and geographical elements of one of the world’s largest ongoing modern-day migrations. He continues this work with a new publication in the Journal of Material Culture with the article “Undocumented migration, use wear, and the materiality of habitual suffering in the Sonoran Desert.”
Paris, June 12-13, 2014: Organized by the Cities Project at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis in collaboration with SENAR, this interdisciplinary conference will bring together scholars from across the humanities and social sciences to explore the many ways in which garbage – in its diverse forms and articulations – is being produced, managed, experienced, imagined, circulated, concealed, and aestheticized in contemporary urban environments and across different creative and cultural practices.
Shiloh R. Krupar’s new book, Hot Spotter’s Report: Military Fables of Toxic Waste, with University of Minnesota Press, was released this summer. It is about the remaking of the world via the externalities–or wastes–of war, from residues from the production of chemical weapons to nuclear radiation.
Calling for papers that implicitly or explicitly take a systems’ approach to researching waste management issues. Waste management systems can be conceptualised as involving flows of waste materials through complex, multi-faceted systems, which are developed and managed by socio-political institutions, but which are also bound up with attitudes and behaviours of individuals operating within the system (such as residents, scavengers and policy makers).
Imperial Debris redirects critical focus from ruins as evidence of the past to “ruination” as the processes through which imperial power occupies the present. Ann Laura Stoler’s introduction is a manifesto, a compelling call for postcolonial studies to expand its analytical scope to address the toxic but less perceptible corrosions and violent accruals of colonial aftermaths, as well as their durable traces on the material environment and people’s bodies and minds.
What is the state of discard studies in anthropology? If you’re going to the AAA conference next week, you can see for yourself. Otherwise, the conference schedule provides an interesting overview text in and of itself:
f you look at enough photographs of disasters, you will see people posing with high water marks. It is a genre of photography onto itself: over and over, they will point to the mark, put their bodies in front of the mark, or photograph the high water line alone. This post explores the possible roles that the visual culture of post-disaster high water marks play, especially given the prevalence of the genre across disasters, geography, and time.
A telling discourse of hoarding emerged in the immediate aftermath of the storm from relief distribution hubs that collected and freely distributed food, clothing, and other material goods to those in need. In these cases, the concept of “hoarding” highlighted the differences–and politics–between equitable and equal distributions of goods.