CFP: Opening the Bin – New perspectives on waste, culture and society from the humanities and the social sciences

Opening the Bin – New perspectives on waste, culture and society from the humanities and the social sciences
– Lund University, Helsingborg Campus, Sweden, April 27-28, 2017

The production and management of waste comprise a vast array of socio-material practices that together shape many aspects of contemporary culture and society. Simultaneously, the challenges of climate and environmental change and the contribution of society’s consumption to global warming and natural resource depletion make the issue of waste management crucial for contemporary societies and for their wider ecological footprints. Yet, despite its eminently social and cultural nature, waste often remains merely positioned in theoretical and practical discourses as a technical and natural scientific issue. Social scientific and humanist research on waste is alive and well, but splintered, and with a limited impact on what ends up in bins and dumpsters.

The purpose of this two-day transdisciplinary workshop is to gather scholars from the social sciences and the humanities together with a few practitioners to critically discuss the places, roles and trajectories as well as the meanings, practices, and vocabularies of waste in culture and society. Here are a few examples of questions that might emerge during the workshop: How can the humanities and the social sciences prompt new ways to imagine, conceptualize and characterize waste and its management? How do discourses on waste (and related discourses about de-growth or circular economy) travel as ideas and practices, and how are they translated and materialized in new contexts? What are the implications of waste production and management with regard to democracy, welfare and environmental justice?

News: Cambridge Scholars Publishing ( is interested in publishing an edited volume on the theme of the conference.

Submission of abstract: December 1st, 2016
Acceptance decision: December 15, 2016
Sending in full paper or work-in-progress: April 13, 2017
Seminar at Lund University in Helsingborg: April 27-28, 2017

Participation fee: 500 Sek / 55 € + VAT if applicable

Book the dates: April 27-28, 2017 – and, please, forward this invitation through your networks.

Organizing committee: Hervé Corvellec and Richard Ek from Lund University, and María José Zapata Campos and Patrik Zapata from the University of Gothenburg.