Trash Talk Lecture: Garbage: Learning to Unsee

Did you miss the lecture? You may listen to it here.

Garbage is rich with contradictions. It is both intimate and global, ubiquitous and invisible. We generate trash in vast quantities but few of us know where it goes, or how it gets there, or what happens to it next.

Trash also has much to teach. This talk considers some of its lessons, looking at its uncertain status in our everyday lives and its role in our understanding of the world.

What are some of the logistical challenges of trash, and how are those necessary infrastructures built into the rhythms of a city? What are the implications of cultural, historic, and economic patterns that create discards while requiring us not to see them? What is the cost of unseeing our waste, and what might happen if we were to reconfigure our perception so that garbage becomes visible?

The speaker is Robin Nagle, director of the Draper Program in Humanities and Social Thought, New York University and Anthropologist-in-Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation.

Additional talks in this series include an archaeological view of trash, managing materials to achieve sustainable results, and a look at industrialized America's trash. Join us this Fall for an exploration of the anthropology of waste!



Garbage: Learning to Unsee, the first in the Peabody Museum Trash Talk series of free lectures, is Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 5:30 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge.

A public reception follows at the Peabody Museum.

Photo by D'Arcy Norman. Creative Commons - some rights reserved.