The Social Analytics Faculty group in the Center for Energy & Environmental Research in the Human Sciences hosted a workshop, On Waste, on Friday, February 4th 2017. Professors Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer along with PhD candidates Maureen Haver and Magnús Örn Sigurðsson took part in the workshop. Invited guests included: Catherine Alexander (Department of Anthropology, Durham University), Jennifer Gabrys (Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London), and Ellen Spears (Department of American Studies, University of Alabama). The event description can be read below:
Waste is a fact of life. In the past, human discards cycled back into natural systems to feed bugs, bogs and biomes that sustained the planet and all those on it. But both the scope and scale of waste have changed over time, from urgencies around managing toxic waste materials to the slow, accumulative logic of waste remainders as cyclical components of larger biotic and abiotic systems. If in the past, waste could be taken as largely local and mostly temporary – a stage in the cycle from resource to waste to resource, again – today, that cycle is rupturing at multiple scales and at accelerated speeds. The results are not just changing forms of ‘nature’ but are also producing new social, political and environmental challenges.How can the medium of waste create certain kinds of consequences?
A transcript of that discussion has since been used to produce a co-authored journal-length article that is currently undergoing final revisions before it will be submitted for consideration for publication.