Announcements and Calls for Participation in Discard Studies (Nov 2017)

A collection of Discard Studies news items, calls for papers, positions,  grants and awards.

CFP: Special Issue on the Contested realities of the Circular Economy

Deadline: November 15th 2018
This special issue of 
Culture and Organization invites contributions that question the Circular Economy in innovative ways. This special issue aims at bringing together critical, interpretive and theory-driven papers that go beyond the often repeated, but largely a-historical, a-practical, and a-theoretical, claims that the Circular Economy will help organizations solve 21st century problems. There is, for example, a rich history of economic and social practices (think of the frugality of survival practices during various wars) that could be seen as precursors of the Circular Economy, and one might ask: If such practices have been around for some time, why have they not been able to address the questions the Circular Economy aims to answer? Likewise, the Circular Economy has a lot to say about materials and their flows, but very little about humans and the social dimension of circular activities.
Read more here:

UNMAKING WASTE 2018: Transforming Design, Production and Consumption for a Circular Economy

Hosted by the China Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development, University of South Australia, Adelaide, September 20-23, 2018
Over the last two decades, much effort has gone into developing strategies to reduce waste and emissions in products, systems and the urban environment. Accelerating rates of consumption and discard, however, continue to undermine many of these larger efforts. It is clear that we need new systems-based approaches to reduce rising levels of resource consumption and energy use in order to implement a more equitable and environmentally sustainable society and economy. Building upon the experience of our first conference, Unmaking Waste: Transforming Production and Consumption in Time and Place (May 2015), Unmaking Waste 2018 will address the following themes from a similarly multidisciplinary perspective:

  1. Eco-Design and Development: Designing and managing objects, buildings, precincts and systems to reduce resource and energy use, and increase environmental and human wellbeing.
  2. Sustainable Consumption: Transforming consumption and service provision, including marketing, to better suit a resource-constrained, environmentally challenged world.
  3. Waste Minimization: Reducing waste and pollution at all scales, in all domains and activities, and transforming waste and pollution into states of greater value for reuse.
  4. Circular Economy:Optimizing social, material and economic relations to further the goals of the Circular Economy, including product and environment life-extension, reuse and repair.

Call for Abstracts (Deadline: December 15, 2017) Abstracts should be no more than 300 words, and address the purpose, methods, and implications of the work to be presented. They should include a proposed title, and nominate one or more of the above themes that seem most relevant to the subject. All abstracts, conference presentations and full papers must be in English. Abstracts must be received no later than 5pm, December 15, 2017. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed and all submissions will receive a written response with feedback from the Conference Organising Committee by February 2nd, 2018. The authors of successful abstracts will then be invited to submit their full papers for review by May 4th, 2018.
Full papers will be double-blind peer reviewed, and returned to their authors for revision before June 8th, 2018. Papers that are accepted, or accepted pending revision, will have until July 30th 2018, for completion. The full accepted, corrected papers will be published online in time for the conference. It is anticipated that a selection of these papers will be published in an edited book or special issue of a journal. More details on this will be available on the conference website when they come to hand.
Please send titles, abstracts, with nominated theme(s) and a separate short author bio in a word file to no later than December 15th, 2017.

LIMITS 2018: Fourth Workshop on Computing within Limits

May 12-13, Toronto, Canada
ACM LIMITS aims to foster research on the impact of present or future ecological, material, energetic, and/or societal limits on computing and computing research to respond to such limits. The medium-term aim of the workshop is to foster concrete research, potentially of an interdisciplinary nature, that innovates on technologies, techniques, and contexts for computing within fundamental limits. A longer-term goal is to build a community around relevant topics and research. A goal of this community is to impact society through the design and development of computing systems in the abundant present for use in a future of limits and/or scarcity.
The ACM Limits workshop accepts two broad categories of papers: “discussion papers” and “systems papers” (see below). Submissions do not need to strictly fit into either category. All papers should succinctly frame the limits that are of interest to the author(s).
Abstract registration deadline: Feb 2, 2018, 11:59pm Pacific Time
Paper submission deadline: Feb 9, 2018, 11:59pm Pacific Time
Paper reviews available: March 7, 2018

More here:

Energy Justice in Global Perspective Postdoctoral Position

The Global Studies department at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites applications for a Mellon Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral scholar on the theme of “energy justice in global perspective.” This seminar focuses on the ways in which certain communities are disproportionately affected by energy regimes and seeks to advance energy justice scholarship with the goal of analyzing and transforming, at this pivotal time, how decisions about energy development, production, and use are made. The Mellon Saywer Seminar award is being managed by the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research. The successful candidate will have a track record of research in energy justice that is inter-disciplinary and global, and have plans for extending this research agenda. The post-doctoral fellow will also assist in all aspects of the organization of a year-long seminar that includes keynote speakers, roundtables, and public film screenings, and will work with two graduate students affiliated with the seminar. The post-doctoral fellow will be mentored by one of the UCSB faculty leading the seminar.
Questions about the position should be directed to Jana Bentley, To learn more, please visit:

CFP: Uncanny Futures: Speculative Ecologies of Waste

Workshop in Bremen/Delmenhorst, March 15th-16th 2018
In recent years waste has become an increasingly contemplated issue in the humanities and social sciences, as made evident by a plethora of related conferences and an increasing number of books, edited issues, volumes etc. (i.e. for the German-speaking context: Kersten 2016 and Lewe et al. 2016). What counts as waste is highly contested and not evident at all. Dependent on both attributions and allocations as well as material properties, nearly everything can turn into waste and back into something of use.
Building upon that broad consensus, we want to use waste as an entry point to ask more encompassing questions, pointing to fundamental issues at stake. In this way, waste, or rather: litter, garbage, debris might serve as a lens to zoom into past_ current_ future issues and questions of life in the Anthropocene:
How can we make decisions when faced with uncertainty (Murphy 2006)? How does dirt and pollution challenge the concept of reversibility? How to cope with not knowing how different materials behave in the future (Hird 2012), e.g. atmospheric fallout of polyester fibres? What are the consequences of “burying & forgetting” wastes (especially harmful refuses), respectively of maintaining their memory? How do we rethink environmentalism without playing off the environment against waste? How is it that ideas of pollution change over time “from ‘matter out of place’ (Douglas) to allowable limits” (Liboiron 2016)? How can we responsibly challenge recycling as a panacea solving all waste problems to come? And how does recycling serve to de-politicize the handling of waste through pushing individual responsibilities? How do waste and affiliated practices challenge ideas of linearity (Lepawsky and Mather 2011)?
Finally, what are the roles of sociotechnical imaginaries (Jasanoff and Kim 2015) in handling waste, such as cleaning up large amounts of ocean plastics? And how can we link these projects to trans/national efforts of managing and regulating waste and its related issues?
Read more here:

Call for Submissions & Announcement of Invisible Harm Special Issue

Culture, Theory and Critique invites original full-length article submissions for its upcoming open issues. Culture, Theory and Critique is a refereed, interdisciplinary journal for the transformation and development of critical theories in the humanities and social sciences. It aims to critique and reconstruct theories by interfacing them with one another and by relocating them in new sites and conjunctures.
Culture, Theory and Critique is an international as well as interdisciplinary journal whose success depends on contributions from a variety of sources, so that debate between different perspectives can be stimulated. One of the aims of the journal is to break down theoretical hierarchies and latent intellectual hegemonies. To this end, every endeavour will be made to incorporate perspectives from diverse cultural, intellectual and geographical contexts. We therefore particularly encourage work which addresses and contextualises theories, texts (including cinema, media, fine arts, scientific treatises, etc.), and ethnographic material produced outside of North America and Western Europe. We also encourage submissions of original English translations or introductions / summaries of critical theory works originally published in other languages.
Essays should not exceed 7000 words, including quotations and footnotes, and the word count should be printed at the end. In general, articles should be divided into clearly identified sections with subheadings or numbers.
Please visit our website ( for instructions and guidelines on how to submit an article.