Global Garbage Conference

Center for the Study of European and North African Relations (SENAR), Paris, June 12-13, 2014


Keywords: abandonment, decay, dirt, disposal, excess, garbage, recycling, renewal, residue, ruins, sustainability, trash, waste.

Organized by the Cities Project at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of European and North African Relations (SENAR) and the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies (ACGS), 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. To what extent are contemporary cities becoming wastelands? In what ways are the global economics of excess and waste reshaping urban communities? How do the ever accelerating cycles of production, consumption, and disposal redirect urban flows of capital, commodities, data, and people? What new types and concepts of waste are produced by mechanisms of time-space compression and intensified global connectivity? How do imaginaries of trash or ruination figure in urban policy discourses and their counter-narratives? And what is the position of waste, dirt, and residue in a pervasive visual culture of excess?

Engaging with these sorts of questions, the conference will explore how, and under what conditions, contemporary forms/sites of excess, waste, and abandonment perpetuate, but also sometimes counter, the imbalances of power often associated with the global metropolitan condition.

A provisional version of the conference program can be downloaded here.

Conference organizers:

Christoph Lindner (University of Amsterdam):

Miriam Meissner (University of Amsterdam):

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