University of Gothenburg
Gamla tunnor i solljus, ställda mot en vägg.
Photo: Jenny Högström Berntson

Waste/Wasted Heritage

CCHS launched a new cross-cluster theme of Waste/Wasted Heritage during 2020.

Research Theme: Waste/Wasted Heritage

While a conventional spatial understanding of the relationship between waste and heritage tends to place one in opposition to the other (for example the contrast between the museum and the rubbish dump as end points in the life cycle of redundant objects), the aim of this cross-cluster theme is to explore the more complicated understandings of objects, places, practices and values that cut across these two categories and to consider how such explorations might illuminate new ways of understanding the role of heritage in the Anthropocene and lead to new, cross-cluster collaborations on issues of contemporary global concern. We envisage exploring these questions as they apply to processes across various scales and in different settings, ranging from the minute and domestic to the largescale and public.

The Waste/Wasted Heritage theme provides a cross-cluster forum for critical debate and discussion among CCHS cluster leaders and researchers, and through events involving national and international partners. Research that examines the relationship between heritage and waste is multidisciplinary and has a range of interpretations and applications across disciplinary fields and public policy. The Waste/Wasted Heritage theme showcases the breadth of multidisciplinary research at CCHS with relevance to heritage and waste and develops collaborative research and partnership opportunities with external researchers and institutions.

Plans for this theme include

  • Podcast featuring scholars within the field of critical heritage studies discussing different themes related to waste/wasted heritage.

    Each installment of the pod series will centre around a newly published book in the intersection of heritage and waste and involve a conversation between the author and, for example, one of the cluster members. The target audience for the pod series is both academic and non-academic actors with an interest in this field.

    We believe that the pod series will be a good way of providing a state-of-the-art debate about evolving new frontiers of critical heritage studies.
  • Seminar series focusing different topics concerning heritage and waste.
  • More to be planned ahead

Theme under planning: (Unwanted) The extraordinary life cycles of things

This panel will be implemented in 2022. The planning committee consistes of Stavroula Golfomitsou from UGOT, Theano Moussori from UCL and Johanna Fries-Marciewics from the Swedish National Archive. The proposed themes included digital waste and sustainability, deaccessioning museum objects, microplastics, industrial waste, space waste, waste as archeological material and the link between waste-surplus of resources and public attitude to it.

More information to come.