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University of Gothenburg

Re-opening the bin - Waste, economy, culture and society

Conference June 10-12, 2021 Note: conference date changed

Call for papers

First announcement for the international conference:
Re-opening the bin - Waste, economy, culture and society
University of Gothenburg, Sweden, June 10-12, 2021

In April 2017 more than 80 scholars from the social sciences and the humanities from all over the world met at Lund University to discuss waste, culture and society during the Opening the bin workshop in Helsingborg. Today, social scientific and humanistic research on waste is growing, yet still needs further encounters as well as a major engagement in the economies, livelihoods, life-styles, consumption patterns, natures, infrastructures and materialities that shape and are shaped by the organizing of waste.

It is time to Re-open the bin. This call is an open invitation to scholars interrogating waste from a myriad of disciplines within social sciences and humanities, such as anthropology, cultural studies, history, development studies, gender studies, geography, household and consumption studies, organization and management, philosophy, public administration or governance, sociology, urban studies, to mention a few. These disciplines come across the many faces and dimensions of waste, such as waste history; green development narratives such as circular economy, zero waste or inclusive recycling; waste prevention; alternative practices of waste management; critical assessments of waste policies and governance; social movements engagement, waste technologies and infrastructure; de-growth, repair and maintenance; working conditions and the types of occupations; skills and industrial relations; creative waste economies; social and grassroots innovations; or sustainable consumption and throwaway cultures.

The conference also aims to bring together experiences from global South and global North communities, as well as practitioners, to critically discuss the places, roles and trajectories as well as the materialities, meanings, practices and vocabularies of waste in culture, economy and society.

Together we would like to continue the dialog between disciplines, geographies and professions to discuss how to prompt new ways to imagine, conceptualize, design and theorize waste as a complex socio-material phenomenon. Small is beautiful and we are aiming at gathering around 70 papers to facilitate interaction and dialog.

The conference will combine seminars with field visits, food and waste activities. If you would like to organize a special “waste fraction” (session), please contact us with a proposal by September 15. We will have a “bulky waste fraction” where abstracts can be sent and then “sorted out” to waste fractions by the organizing committee.

Important dates

  • Confirm participation with accepted 2020 abstract: Sept. 30 2020
  • Submission of abstracts, new piece: January 15 2021
  • Acceptance decision: February 15 2021
  • Registration deadline: April 15, 2021
  • Send full paper or work-in-progress to May 11, 2021

Conference at University of Gothenburg: June 10-12, 2021 - Book the date today and please spread out to your networks! 

Organizing Committee

Sebastián Carenzo, University of Quilmes
Hervé Corvellec, Lund University
Jutta Gutberlet, University of Victoria
Ulrika Holmberg, University of Gothenburg
Sandra Samuelsson, University of Gothenburg
Allison Stowell, Lancaster University
Patrik Zapata, University of Gothenburg
María José Zapata Campos, University of Gothenburg