Seminar: Global Garbage: Excess, Waste, and Abandonment in the Contemporary City

garbage-cities-seminar-webAmsterdam School for Cultural Analysis

Spuistraat 210, 1012 VT Amsterdam, The Netherlands

If you want to participate, please contact

The theme of the 2013-2014 ASCA Cities Seminar is “global garbage”. We are interested in exploring the many ways in which garbage – in its diverse forms and articulations – is being produced, managed, experienced, imagined, circulated, concealed, and aestheticized in contemporary urban environments and across different creative and cultural practices.

To what extent are contemporary cities becoming wastelands? In what ways are the global economics of excess and waste reshaping urban communities? How do the ever accelerating cycles of production, consumption, and disposal redirect urban flows of capital, commodities, data, and people? What new types and concepts of waste are produced by mechanisms of time-space compression and intensified global connectivity? How do imaginaries of trash or ruination figure in urban policy discourses and their counter-narratives? And what is the position of waste, dirt, and residue in a pervasive visual culture of excess?

Engaging with these sorts of questions, the seminar will explore how, and under what conditions, contemporary forms/sites of excess, waste, and abandonment perpetuate – but also sometimes counter – the imbalances of power that recent books such as Mike Davis’ Planet of Slums, Edward Soja’s Seeking Spatial Justice, and Arjun Appadurai’s The Future as Cultural Fact have associated with the global metropolitan condition.

Semester 2, 2014

Feb. 14: “‘Fish don’t vote.’ The City of Philadelphia and Ocean Dumping, 1973-1986”

Dr. Simone Müller-Pohl (University of Freiburg)

Location: Belle van Zuylenzaal (University Library, Singel 425), Time: 3-6pm.

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March 21: “On Leftovers”

Focused reading and discussion led by Pedram Dibazar and Miriam Meissner (University of Amsterdam)

Location: Vondelzaal (University Library, Singel 425), Time: 3-6pm.


April 25: “East-Asian Garbage, in Perspective”

Prof. Katarzyna J. Cwiertka (Leiden University)

Location: Room E0.14C (Bushuis, Kloveniersburgwal 48), Time: 3-6pm.

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Past semester 2013

Sept 20: “The Excesses and Wastes of Regeneration in London”

Dr. Ben Campkin (The Bartlett/UCL UrbanLab)

Location: Vondelzaal (University Library, Singel 425), Time: 3-6pm.

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Oct 18: “Space, Time, and the Margins of the City”

Dr. Sudeep Dasgupta (University of Amsterdam)

Location: Vondelzaal (University Library, Singel 425), Time: 3-6pm.

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Nov 15: “On Waste”

Focused reading and discussion led by Judith Naeff (University of Amsterdam)

Location: Room 101A (University Theater, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18) Time: 3-6pm.

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Dec 13:  “Zombies in the City: Junk-space, Disposable Labor, and Urban Militarization”

Dr. Dan Hassler-Forest (University of Amsterdam)

Location: Vondelzaal (University Library, Singel 425), Time: 3-6pm.

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