Call for Papers: The Temporalities of Waste – Out of Sight, Out of Time (edited collection)

You are invited to submit a paper for possible inclusion in this proposed volume, to be submitted for consideration to Routledge’s Environmental Humanities Series or a similar series.

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Proposed Edited book to be pitched to Routledge Environmental Humanities or a similar series. 

Book Editors: Dr Fiona Allon, Associate Professor Ruth Barcan, Karma Eddison-Cogan

Extended Call for Contributions deadline: 31st August 2018

Waste is defined, managed, and transformed through varying temporal logics. Its spatial ordering marks gives it clear material and discursive boundaries. Likewise, our relationship with waste is also marked by time.

As William Viney writes: ‘Time conditions waste: it provides a measure of our uses, our projects and our ambitions’. He writes that ‘With our recognition of waste comes an acknowledgement of time’s passing, its power to organize notions of wearing, decay, transience and dissolution and its power to expose that organizing function, to disclose how things are imbued with a sense of duration, punctuation and intermission that makes time an explicit, tangible thing of thought’. The sense of time that articulates and is articulated by waste across its broad semantic field highlights the significance of understanding waste temporally as well as spatially.

With its restorative and regenerative strategies, the concept of the circular economy imagines a cyclical time. Discourses and practices of renewal, repair, and revival of things nearing their end imagine new lives for material objects that project them into the future. Obsolescence leave traces of the past, and practices of repair and upcycling signal variabilities in value over time.

This edited collection aims to address the need for ongoing critical reflection on the temporalities of waste in the context of sustainability, materiality, social practices, subjectivity, and environmental challenges. It aims to be attuned to the multiple temporalities of waste, its circulation and transformation as part of discourses of creative transformation and sharing economies, as well as the ways in which waste lingers and does not move according to cyclical logics and temporalities.

Suggested themes (other themes also welcome):

  • Paradigm shifts towards the circular economy
  • Obsolescence and planned obsolescence
  • Haunting
  • Crisis and urgency
  • Long duration (e.g. geological time, nuclear waste, landfills)
  • Waste and art
  • Time and environmental justice
  • Humans-as-waste
  • The lingering presence of materials, hoarding, and persistence
  • The recovery of waste’s potential through practice and aesthetics
  • The popular revival of mending, repair, homesteading, and craft practices
  • Time and transformations in value
  • The Anthropocene and temporalities of environmental sustainability
  • Things and linear time
  • Ruins and heritage
  • Queer modes of reading waste
  • Planned obsolescence, repair, and maintenance
  • Waste’s figurative proximity to death and decay

Please submit your title and abstract of no more than 300 words along with your affiliation and a short bio to The extended deadline for submitting abstracts is 31 August 2018. A decision will be made regarding final selection by mid-September. For the final submission, we would be hoping for a contribution of 6000-8000 words, and we would be looking to receive a draft from you by 1 July 2019.

Download the PDF version here.