Papers on Disposability, Decay, and Depletion
A one-day event to be held at Birkbeck College, University of London, on September 21st 2017.
9.00-18.30, Room 106, 43 Gordon Square.
Confirmed keynote speakers:
Professor Esther Leslie (Birkbeck, University of London)
Dr Leo Mellor (University of Cambridge)
Dr Rachele Dini (UCL / University of Cambridge)
This one-day interdisciplinary event will make visible the untold story of waste by exploring its representations, both material and metaphorical, within contemporary culture. Through an investigation of waste’s presence (or lack thereof) within modern life, this conference will disrupt the entrenched value judgements surrounding objects, places and people otherwise deemed redundant. By exploring how we create, classify and treat waste material this discussion will simultaneously review and challenge the ethics of human waste(-ing); the marginalisation of populations rendered disposable within a globalised socio-economic framework. Calling on related discourses from the arts, social sciences, medical humanities and beyond, this symposium will bring together a diverse mix of academics, artists and industry experts to share insights on a (waste) matter that impacts and implicates us all.
The event will be free to attend, with lunch and refreshments provided on the day and a drinks reception for attendees and speakers in the evening.
Possible paper topics include (but are not limited to) the following:
Pollution and toxicity (e.g. physical / metaphorical, environmental, social)
Junk, dirt and rubbish (e.g. the abject, hygiene, creation of)
Decomposition and decay (e.g. illness, corpses, physical ‘wasting’)
The temporality of waste (e.g. ‘wasting time’, aging and depletion)
The geography of waste (e.g. LULUs, derelict spaces, wastelands)
Literatures of waste (e.g. fiction about waste, recycling, printing)
Human waste / Wasted humans (e.g. bodily matter, biopolitics of disposability)
Petrocultures and industrial waste (e.g. extraction, environmental damage of)
Economies of waste (e.g. commodification, the cost of waste, disposal industries).