Category Archives: Human/Bodily

Abjection: A definition for discard studies

Abjection describes a social and psychological process by which things like garbage, sewage, corpses and rotting food elicit powerful emotional responses like horror and disgust.

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

Josh Reno’s new article “Towards a New Theory of Waste: From ‘Matter out of Place’ to Signs of Life” is in November’s Theory, Culture and Society. In the article Reno proposes to re-orients the whole of “waste studies” by changing its object of interest, it’s operative metaphor, and the type of entities that create waste: “In this paper, I ask what it might mean for conceptions of waste, and critical theory more broadly, if we were to start from a different approach, bio-semiotics, modelled on an alternative substance, animal faeces” (2).

New Article! The Politics of Open Defecation

This paper examines the politics of open defecation by focusing on everyday intersections of the body and infrastructure in the metabolic city, which produces profoundly unequal opportunities for fulfilling bodily needs. Specifically, it examines how open defecation emerges in Mumbai’s informal settlements through everyday embodied experiences, practices and perceptions forged in relation to the materialities of informality and infrastructure.

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

There are two new waste-related articles in the latest issue of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.

CFP: Corpses, Technologies, and Cultures

Open Session CFP for the Joint Meeting of Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and Sociedad Latinoamericana de Estudios Sociales de la Ciencia y la Tecnología (ESOCITE) August 20 – 23, 2014 | Buenos Aires, Argentina Corpses, Technologies, and Cultures Organizers: Philip Olson Language: English Dead human bodies occupy physical and cultural spaces in which a wide […]
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Article alert- Undocumented migration, use wear, and the materiality of habitual suffering in the Sonoran Desert

Jason De León and uses discards left through undocumented migration on the US/Mexico border to narrate the social, political, and geographical elements of one of the world’s largest ongoing modern-day migrations. He continues this work with a new publication in the Journal of Material Culture with the article “Undocumented migration, use wear, and the materiality of habitual suffering in the Sonoran Desert.”

Paradoxurus, or the best cup of joe

I have nothing to add to this one. Published in the pages of Foodservice Director Magazine (July 15, 2013).

CFP: Body Burdens, Biomonitoring, and Biocitizenship

Since at least the publication of Silent Spring, scientists, policy-makers, and the general public has focused on pollution in the environment as the object of regulation and control, a source of fear and anxiety, and the subject of scientific testing. As technologies, analytical detection limits, and eco-populist, anti-toxic movements have developed over the decades, scrutiny […]
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New listserv for toxics in the humanities and social sciences

For all of us who work on pollution, toxics, and the afterlife of chemicals more broadly, there is a new, open listserv called Toxics in the Humanities and Social Sciences. It’s description: “This group is for academics and practitioners who study bodily and/or environmental toxins, pollution, and the lives of synthetic chemicals using methodologies in […]
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CFP: The Theory and Practice of the Six Non-Naturals (c.1400-1700)

Do you study the history of defecation, exhalation, or other bodily wastes? Healthy Living in Pre-Modern Europe. The Theory and Practice of the Six Non-Naturals (c.1400-1700) Conference Venue: Institute of Historical Research, Bloomsbury, London. Conference Dates: 13-14 September 2013 This conference seeks to bring together scholars working on topics related to the role played by […]
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