Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.


Doing and undoing with and through waste: what can we learn about de/revalorisation processes from an anthropological perspective? 
Francesco Vettori (University of Bologna)
Elena Sischarenco (University of Fribourg)
Claudia Marina Lanzidei (University of Bologna)
Send message to Convenors
Patrick O'Hare (University of St Andrews)
Tuesday 23 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
Add to Calendar:

Short Abstract:

From the backyard to the landfill, anthropologists have started to follow the waste life cycle, highlighting the socioeconomic web in which it is entangled. This panel brings together theoretical contributions on waste and ethnographic studies on community practices of waste re-valorization.

Long Abstract:

Since Mary Douglas’ framing of waste as “matter out of place” in 1966, anthropologists have studied discarded things in many different ways: through an economic and materialist perspective, as a matter of social stigma, as a desired way of finding one’s form of living (Millar 2018), among others. Anthropologists have entered the dustbins and the landfills, observing the ‘life cycle’ of objects and materials, the global streams of waste and the communities that form around its recovery. Scholars have seen the potential in discarded materials to provide new perspectives, centered on maintenance, slowing down, and making do with what we have got, questioning the common understandings of growth, progress, and modernity.

Waste itself, in its symbolism and materiality, is continuously subjected to ‘doing and undoing’. Discarded and recuperated, imbued with social, political, and economic values, in a cycle of valorisation and devaluation processes, waste is becoming a key element in our current, anthropocenic, planetary emergencies. How are objects ‘undone’ and become waste, how is waste ‘done’ again into something else, how fluid is this transformation, and who are the social actors who perform it? What does it mean to consider something discarded, and what can we learn from alternatives, non-linear models of production and consumption, in which the product’s end of life is just a step for its rebirth? This panel welcomes reflections on waste as a macro-analytical category and ethnographic studies on communities’ practices of waste re-valorisation such as recycling, repairing and reusing objects and resources.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -