Category Archives: history

Review of ‘Love Canal: A Toxic History from Colonial Times to the Present’

Richard S. Newman’s recent book offers a new history of Love Canal, the neighborhood near Niagara Falls that became notoriously contaminated by buried chemical waste. As residents became aware of the leaching chemicals and associated health risks, they organized to investigate the problems and demand government action.

Bibliography for Critical Ecology

Since ecological metaphors, systems, and thinking are implicit to much of discard studies, we’re happy to share this crowdsourced bibliography on critical perspectives of ecology.

Modern Waste and Industrial Ruins in the Anthropocene

Regarding Giant Mine, the Canadian government’s plan for containment involves freezing the arsenic underground in perpetuity. Beyond the technical challenges, the question of how to communicate risk and containment to future generations by imagining a time in the distant future unlike anything we know now is no easy task.

Reconciliation’s Waste: heritage and waste in post-apartheid South Africa

Portable toilets and urine on colonial era statues are reconciliations ruins, the things leftover that heritage helps to frame but yet cannot fully explain. As matter that remains unresolved, I think it tells us about the unfinished work of reconciliation in South Africa.

Thompson on Sills, ‘Toxic War: The Story of Agent Orange’

The use of the defoliant Agent Orange by the United States is one of the most controversial actions of the Vietnam War. InToxic War: The Story of Agent Orange, Peter Sills provides much-needed clarity to the history of Agent Orange with his use of data made available by legal proceedings.

Environmental historians get wasted: ASEH conference report

What’s my take on this torrent of waste at ASEH? I think it really signals a maturation of a second generation of waste scholarship in environmental history that began in the early 2000s.

DDT’s long shadow: Long-banned chemicals linked to abnormal sperm

A study of men from the Faroe Islands finds that high DDT and PCB exposure during adolescence and adulthood is associated with abnormal chromosomes in sperm. By Brian Bienkowski, EHN.

Roundtable reviews of “Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology”

If you’re interested in the history of pesticides and toxicology, Banned provides a detail-oriented, close reading of key 20th century experiments, legislative hearings, events, and texts to investigate how scientific facts and legislative decisions about pesticides were made.

CFP: Envirotechnical Histories of Waste Management — ASEH 2016, Seattle

The papers in this panel will approach and explore solid waste management histories as enviro-technical systems riddled with political, social, economic, and identity questions.

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

By Arn Keeling “Project Dystopia,” “The Information Tomb” and the “Giant Facility for Environmental Hazards” were among the conceptual models developed for markers and warning systems at Yellowknife’s Giant Mine by a class of cultural geography students at Memorial University. The abandoned Giant Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories is the location of 237,000 tonnes of […]
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