Temporality and Waste: Slow Violence

Scaffolding set up so workers can clean inside one of the pieces of flue gas cleaning equipment, produced, Georg thinks, in Taiwan. Author’s photo.

A Visit to a Waste-to-Energy Facility: Notes from central Austria’s industrial fields

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Visually Representing Slow Disasters

Photograph by Andrew Moore.

The Perils of Ruin Porn: Slow Violence and the Ethics of Representation


Discard Studies at the Association of American Geographers Conference (April 2015)

Deteriorating section of the MIC plant, decades after the gas leak. Autore: Luca Frediani. Utilizzo in Wikipedia autorizzato dall'autore. CC BY-SA 2.0.

Sizing Up ‘Slow Violence’


Introduction to Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

One of the prepared questions in the Write2Know campaign is about the effect of the oil sands on water quality.

Researcher Activism: The Gutting of Discard Science in Canada and the Write2Know Campaign


CFP: Geographies of waste: Space, scale and geopolitics (Due March 13)

Toilet Glitter. Photo by author.

Queering Waste Through Camp

Art by Loren Crabbe, from the series “Purging Abjection.”

Abjection: A definition for discard studies

Satellite Landscapes by Jenny Odell

Event: Producing Waste/Producing Space (3/6-7, Princeton University)

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The Chinese Logistical Sublime and Its Wasted Remains


CFP: Special issue on Depollution


Waste and Science, Technology & Environment Hub at Memorial University

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New Book! Bad Water: Nature, Pollution, and Politics in Japan, 1870–1950

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CFP: Depollution (Feb 28)


CFP: Living in a Toxic World. European Spring School on History of Science and Popularization

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CFP: Contested Expertise and Toxic Environments (Due Jan 10)

Graffiti in NYC subway in honor of Akai Gurley & Eric Garner. Photo by Lauren Giaccone  (CC BY 2.0)

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Discard Studies


CFP: Material Culture Symposium on Very Bad Things for Emerging Scholars (Dec 15)


New Report Examines High-Tech Trash & E-Waste Ahead of Black Friday

Not having been warned about the known hazards, Dene men even slept on burlap bags containing uranium and radium. Image from Beyond Nuclear.

Article Alert! Wasted Life: Labour, Liveliness, and the Production of Value

This team felt it was important to secure the perimeter of the site.

Students create concept models for Giant Mine markers: Communicating contamination in perpetuity

Postcard: Trail, BC, 1955. Recycling facility in the background.

A Methodology for Investigating Cityness through Waste

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FIXING THE WORLD: Workshop on Excess, leftover and innovation (Nov 21, Fort Saint-Jean-Marseille)

Edward Burtynsky, Nickel Tailings No. 32, 1996.

CFP: The political ecology of industrial waste


CFP: Reuse in an Accelerated World: Mining the Past to Reshape the Future (edited volume)

Sarah Sze, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Installation view, Malmö Konsthall, 2007.

Call for Designers: ‘Unmaking Waste through Re-Use’ (Nov 30)


CFP: Unmaking Waste (extended deadline Nov 30)


CFP: Cultures of Mending: A collaborative workshop


The Dirty Details: A Response to “Tales of the Trash”


Special Issue on International Chemicals Regulation Following the Minamata Convention


Review of Histories of the Dustheap: Waste, Material Cultures, Social Justice

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A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene

losquaderno garbage and wastes edition

CFP: So-called waste': Forms of Excess in Post-1960 Art, Film, and Literature


Special edition on pharmaceuticals in the environment

Blackwell zinc smelter.

New Article Alert! Power, Quiescence, and Pollution: The Suppression of Environmental Grievances


Grassroots Mappping: Waste


New Article! Toward a New Theory of Waste: From ‘Matter out of Place’ to Signs of Life


Top Ten Discard Studies posts


New Article! The Politics of Open Defecation

Yucca Mtn with artist's rendition of warning monument for future generations.

Article Alert! Adjudicating Deep Time: Revisiting the United States’ High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository Project at Yucca Mountain

Image by Triborough.

Why “Discard Studies”? Why not “Waste Studies”?


CFP: Resourceful Communities & Wastefulness


New Articles: The moral economies of recycling in England and Sweden & Compost, domestic practice, and the transformation of alternative toilet cultures around Skaneateles Lake, NY

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Applications open for E-waste Academy Scientists Edition 2014


CFP: “Faking It:” Counterfeits, Copies, and Uncertain Truths in Science, Technology, and Medicine

"The map shows some of the most representative environmental justice conflicts in the United States. In an effort to choose landmark cases we elicited feedback from more than 200 environmental justice leaders, activists, and scholars in identifying these case studies. These cases represent a range of time periods, geographic regions, communities, and environmental challenges. However, they are only a very small subset of the many influential case studies that have contributed to the U.S. environmental justice movement past and present."

Map of 40 most influential environmental justice conflicts in the US

Seismic lines and well pad for exploratory drilling through the boreal forest at the Suncor Firebag Oil Sands Project. Alberta, Canada.
Photo by Alex McLean. "Oilsands 10 Seismic lines and well pad   Pad140406-0573"

CFP: Governing the Inorganic: Materials, Infrastructures and Care

Image from Annie Leonard.

CFP: Discards, Diverse Economies, and Degrowth. October 5th.

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Interactive Visualization of the Global Flow of Electronic Waste


CFP: Product Lifetimes and the Environment (PLATE)


Bringing Waste to Public Spaces: Discussion with Artist Keeley Haftner

Dixie, 1954.

Modern Waste is an Economic Strategy

Page from the Whole Earth Catalog.

The Rare Earth Catalog (and Research Group): Tools for Reckoning with the Anthropocene

Image from Recyclism Hacklab's e-waste workshop.

Love in E-waste, a workshop


A floating cabinet of contaminated curiosities launches 6/28

Photograph by Max Liboiron from UCI campus.

Introducing the Discard Studies Compendium, phase one

Image from the submitted Techno-Trash story by Tyler Fox.

Speculative Historiographies of Techno-Trash

Image of the potential Elder Scrolls Online Daedric Artifacts

Archaeogaming and punk archeology in discard studies


CFP: Maintenance and Repair in STS

Art by Fran Crowe

CFP: The Aesthetics of Trash


CFP: Mobile Trash


Social Studies of Science on: Repair, publics, and “body dirt”


CFP: Fixing the world: Excess, Leftover and Innovation


Why Discard Studies?

race ooverty and chemical disasters

New report on Race, Poverty, and Chemical Disasters

A Safety Case Expert’s Office Desk.

When Deep Time Becomes Shallow: Knowing Nuclear Waste Risk Ethnographically

food waste composting

Experimental Cuisine Collective on Food Waste 5/21 in Philadelphia


CFP: What Will an Anthropology of Maintenance and Repair Look Like? April 15


Special issue of Green Letters on junk and composting

Treatment of municipal solid waste in EU27 (2008). Used with permission from Profu.

Misleading waste statistics

“The Era of Antibiotics” by Robert A. Thom, 1950s.

Petri Dish

Photo by Staten Isand Advance/Steve White. January 4, 2013.

Commissioner of NYC’s Department of Sanitation on Hurricane Sandy

Nuclear power plant  in Olkiluoto.

New Article- Tale taming radioactive fears: Linking nuclear waste disposal to the “continuum of the good”


Waste-Wilderness: A Conversation between Peter Galison and Smudge Studio

Edward Burtynsky, SOCAR Oil Fields #4, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2006

CFP: The Politics of Underground Extraction and Contamination


CFP: Socialities of Waste: Producing Vibrant Life, Matter, and Value in “Free” Spaces

Light planes and vehicles sit among the debris after they were swept by a tsunami that struck Sendai airport in northern Japan on Friday March 11, 2011. Image by By Kansan Staff.

Where Are We Now? Tsunami Debris Three Years Later


New Book! Home Sweat Home: Perspectives on Housework and Modern Relationships

E-waste flows, 2012. Image from Lepawsky 2014.

Myopic spatial politics in dominant narratives of e-waste


Archive Alert! Chicago Recycling Coalition


Crowdsourcing light pollution data: A means of infrastructure awareness?


Article Alert- The Sydney Metropolitan Strategy as a zoning technology: analyzing the spatial and temporal dimensions of obsolescence


Calling All Readers: Discard Studies Fiction?


Article Alert-Becoming Pure: The Civil Sphere, Media Practices and Constructing Civil Purification

Paris Underground. Photo: Hugo Clément.

Questions arising from discards and ‘An Inquiry into Modes of Existence’

Screenshot of interactive data visualization from the Guardian. Graphic by Duncan Clark and Kiln, drawing on work by Mike Bostock and Jason Davies.

Solutions to waste and the problem of scalar mismatches

Single Stream, by Pawel Wojtasik, Toby Lee & Ernst Karel

Waste, and Other Forms of Management @ NYC Anthology Film Archives

Nimbus II, 2012. By Berndnaut Smilde.

A Taxonomy of Unformed Objects

Jeff Wall, The Destroyed Room, 1978. Glenstone.

Damage Control: Art and Destruction since 1950 @ The Hirshhorn Museum

iWitness Pollution Map

It Doesn’t Take a Fireman to Spot a Fire: Fighting Pollution with Citizen Science

Remembrance Code from Funeral Innovations.

CFP: Corpses, Technologies, and Cultures

Awareness campaign on food waste.

Against Awareness, For Scale: Garbage is Infrastructure, Not Behavior

Tailing ponds from Alberta tar sands.

CFP: Anthropocenic Discards and the Hydrocarbon Economy

Methylmercury in liquid form.

CFP: Ecologies and Material Politics of the Inorganic @ 4S/ESOCITE 2014

1982, Warren County PCB march. From

CFP: Generative Justice: Value from the Bottom-up


CFP: After 400 ppm: Science, Politics, and Social Natures in the Anthropocene

Guernica, Pablo Picasso, 1937.

Special issue of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Destruction, Art, and the Doomsday Clock


San Francisco’s Famous 80% Waste Diversion Rate: Anatomy of an Exemplar

Image from The Funambulist by Léopold Lambert.

A Review of Infrapolitics: The Social Life of Water in Mumbai

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Article alert- Undocumented migration, use wear, and the materiality of habitual suffering in the Sonoran Desert


Global Garbage Conference


Book Alert- Hot Spotter’s Report: Military Fables of Toxic Waste


CFP: Sustainable Waste Management Systems @ AAG


New Edited Volume on Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination


Discard Studies at the American Association of Anthropologists (AAA): Nov 20-24th

From the "Remnants After the Storm" series by Wyatt Gallery.

The visual culture of post-disaster high water marks

People wait on line to collect food and water at a distribution point in Coney Island in the wake of Hurricane Sandy on November 3, 2012. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Hoarding Discourse in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

A sanitation worker teams up with members of the National Guard to clear debris in the Midland Beach section of Staten Island. (Amy Pearl/WNYC)

Sanitation Workers: Hurricane Sandy’s First Responders

Post-Sandy "short dump" at Jacob Riis Park. November 13, 2012. Photo by Michael Anton, DSNY.

Trash, debris, or neither? The Nature of Waste During Disaster

Article Alert- The ruins of Erskine Beveridge


Bibliography on Noise Pollution


Installation @ AAA: Urban Infrastructure: Obsolescence and Futurity Walking Tour

Image from photo-narrative project "Chasing Sanitation"

Tales from Our Trash: Sanitation Workers, Sustainable Cities, and the Value of Knowledge

California Air Resources Board Laboratory, Los Angeles, in 1973.

Discard Studies as Science and Technology Studies (STS)

"Dust" by Michael Marder. "No matter how much you fight against it, dust pervades everything. It gathers in even layers, adapting to the contours of things and marking the passage of time. In itself, it is also a gathering place, a random community of what has been and what is yet to be, a catalog of traces and a set of promises: dead skin cells and plant pollen, hair and paper fibers, not to mention dust mites who make it their home. And so, dust blurs the boundaries between the living and the dead, plant and animal matter, the inside and the outside, you and the world (“for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”). This book treats one of the most mundane and familiar phenomena, showing how it can provide a key to thinking about existence, community, and justice today."

Object Lessons

Fresh Kills, 1973. Photo by Chester Higgins

A history of New York City’s solid waste management in photographs


CFP AAG: Waste Regimes: The Material and Political Waste Which We Live by in Different Localities- Oct 12

Rag cart. (1896). Photo: Alice Austen. NYPL.

Waste Studies at SHOT 2013, October 2013

Photo from last year's 4S conference in Copenhagen.

Discard Studies at Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S) 2013


CFP: Global Garbage: Excess, Waste, and Abandonment in the Contemporary City


Fixers Collective in Boston October 5!

"Bodie Ghost Town" by artist Ben Pacificar.

Arrested Decay: The Exorcism of an American Ghost Town


CFP: Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference

Kississing Lake, northern Manitoba, Canada. Polluted by mine tailings. Photo by Jon Gerrard.

Grassroots Communities Mining Mini-Grant Program

losquaderno garbage and wastes edition

lo Squaderno special edition on Garbage & Wastes

Piles of shaved bricks in Red Army Camp. March 2010. Photo by Shih-yang Kao.

Review: The City Recycled: The Afterlives of Demolished Buildings in Post-war Beijing

Research team sniffs the mulch. Different ages of compost smell very differently.

The Decompository at the Arnold Arboretum


Body Burdens, Biomonitoring, and Biocitizenship

A view of the Perungudi dump yard in Chennai. File photo from The Hindu.

Chennai Waste, Part 3: Perungudi: A fortress of trash


Chennai Waste, Part 2: The rural urban divide and caste politics

Photograph by Ashwini Srinivasamohan.

Chennai Waste, Part 1: Informally tracking the trash in Mylapore

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 8.23.53 AM

Ruin Memories Portfolio online


CFP: Urban Sanitation Before the Sanitary Revolution


Plastic Bag Ban Report Call for Papers

Edward Burtynsky. Silver Lake Operations #2, Lake Lefroy, Western Australia, 2007.

Article Alert- Zombie Mines and the (Over)burden of History

Photograph by icaryn.

Reminder- CFP: Discard Studies Handybook – August 31


Research Fellowship: ‘The Skin of Commerce: the role of plastic packaging in the construction of food security, waste and consumer activism in Australia.’


Twenty-first century nuisance law and the continued entanglement of race, gender, property, and violence

Thai Buddha amulet, c.1920. "This small pottery amulet has an image in relief of Somdej, a Buddhist monk and son to King Rama II, meditating on a coiled snake, and was found in a temple in Siam (Modern Thailand) in the first part of the 19th century. These are typically found snugly fitted into tiny metal frames, allowing the amulet to be worn by a worshiper. In this case, the metal frame broke off and the owner or a tinker came up with a fast and economical remedy by encasing the amulet in what looks like small scale chicken wire."

Inventive repair, or, the aesthetics of material hacks


Waste & Indeterminacy at the Canadian Association of Geographers Conference

Screen shot 2013-07-09 at 6.22.00 AM

Article Alert- Reckoning with ruins

Marianne Holm Hansen, For the Record, ongoing

Discard Studies guest authors

J. Campbell Cory, The Cartoonist’s Art, 1911.

A review of The Perfect Food and the Filth Disease: Milk, Typhoid Fever, and the Science of State Medicine in Victorian Britain, 1850-1900

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Litterati: A Digital Landfill of Good-Looking Trash


Institute for Figuring: Workshop creating sea creatures from plastic trash Aug 3, LA

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Article Alert- Mountaintop Removal as a Case Study: The Possibilities for Public Advocacy through Virtual Toxic Tours


Call for short papers: The Discard Studies Handybook


CFP: The Urban Economy: Networks, Flows and Place


The Plastisphere and other 21st century waste ecosystems


Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic

Photo by Matthew Christopher.

The Atemporality of “Ruin Porn”: The Carcass & the Ghost by Sarah Wanenchak


Paradoxurus, or the best cup of joe


E-waste Academy for Scientists and Social Scientists (deadline July 31)

Portion of ceramic. Photograph by Max Liboiron.

Detritus from Historic Deadhorse Bay: Trash Meant to be Left Behind

volkswagen theory of evolution

Waste as Profit & Alternative Economies

Screen shot 2013-05-15 at 7.53.06 AM

IDEAS City: Waste

Photograph by icaryn.

CFP: Garbage & Wastes: lo Squaderno

Michigan Theatre, Detroit, MI. 2008. Photo by Sean Hemmerle.

Call for NCPH Roundtable Participants: Innovative Reuse in the Post-Industrial City

Illustration: Carin Goldberg, from Wired Magazine's "We Need a Fixer (Not Just a Maker) Movement."

We Need a Fixer (Not Just a Maker) Movement By Clive Thompson

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Surveillance and Waste: the art, the history, the law

Brownfield in City of Vancouver, Canada.

CFP: Urban “wastelands”: patterns of emergence and appropriation

1918 flu epidemic. Photographer unknown.

CFP: Ethics and Aesthetics of Epidemiological Photography

how-to-repair-a-dryer-3 copy

Call for Contributions: Cultures of Repair (June 30)

Collapsed Chimney, Abandoned Farm Sand Island, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (William Cronon)

Methodologies: How to Read a Landscape


CFP: Body Burdens, Biomonitoring, and Biocitizenship


ASEH 2014 CFP: Body Burdens, Biomonitoring, and Biocitizenship

Chair at the bottom of Monterey Canyon, nearly 10,500 feet down. Image copyright 2003, MBARI.

Ocean Floor Trash: The Study

Ghost sign

Wall Dogs


Not scrap metal


Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks

green seal

Don’t save the contradictory seals

With over 200 billion CDs and over 1 billion DVD players in the world, it's unlikely that we'll ever run out of hardware.

‘Detritivore’ Design: How to Use Trash to Create Scalable Tech Solutions- Mathew Lippincott


Cooper Union Student Protest: Cleaning Up their School

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R-RIPARABILE? How should we design for repairability – May 31


Shifting the Burden of Recycling: Yale Journal Explores the State of Extended Producer Responsibility


CFP: The Aesthetics of Dislocation – May 15

Screen shot 2013-05-01 at 11.09.39 AM

Trash Dance

Gallery of Lost Art, Tate Modern online.

Gallery of Lost Art: A Treasure Trove of Discard Techniques

Screen shot 2013-04-28 at 7.53.33 PM

Workshop: “Out of culture: Society through its wastes”


Article Alert! Drinking Wastewater: Public Trust in Potable Reuse

This graph from shows how population, waste generated and per capita waste relate, but still implies that individuals in a population are the originators of waste.

The Politics of Measurement: Per Capita Waste and Previous Sewage Contamination

Hunters Point Shipyard

Article Alert! Race, Waste, and Space: Brownfield Redevelopment and Environmental Justice at the Hunters Point Shipyard


Book Launch! PICKING UP: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City


Race, Class, and Disaster Gentrification

Photo from

How to picture two tons of waste? Trashy theaters of proof.


Connecting knowledge about discards to life-saving solutions


New York City settles with Occupy Wall Street for unconstitutional trashing

Victorian PearsÃÂÃâÂÃâ Soap advertisement circa 1890

CFP: Beyond purity and pollution? Hygiene, cleanliness, and urban futures

No thumbnail for CFP: Media Archaeology and Technological Debris

CFP: Media Archaeology and Technological Debris


Tsunami Debris and the Hope of Return


New Book- Trash Animals: How We Live with Nature’s Filthy, Feral, Invasive, and Unwanted Species

Photo from: Hollywood Autograph News

Critical Development in the History of Hoarding

Plan of a medieval manor, where “common pastures” were also referred to as wastelands. From William R. Shepherd, Historical Atlas, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1923.

Article Alert- Terra Economica: Waste and the Production of Enclosed Nature


CFP: Ethnographies of Exposure: Rethinking the Body-Environment Relation AAA

The Landfill. Photo by Loren McCarthy, presenting at TRASH.

An Atlas of Urban Waste- New Syllabus


CFP: Pipes, People, and Politics: Dis/Unconnected Urban Infrastructure and Community Responses

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Everyday xenogarbology: Space Dust


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