Trash Talk: Anthropology of Waste Lecture Series

Listen to the lectures from this 2011-2012 series. 

Garbage, trash, waste, rubbish, discard, refuse, detritus, cast-off, junk, dross, debris, litter, rubble, dregs, leavings: everything we have that isn't consumed will eventually become rubbish and be thrown away. But what is rubbish, how do we define it, manage it, think about it? Where is "away"?

Researchers from fields as disparate as urban design, philosophy, and contemporary art are grappling with these issues as a practical problem, an ecological problem, an economic challenge, an idea, a risk, or a source for creativity. Join us as we Talk Trash this fall. September features two lectures: Garbage: Learning to Unsee, about the cost of not truly seeing our waste and and what might happen if we were to reconfigure our perception so that garbage becomes visible; and Rags, Bones, and Plastic Bags: Trash in Industrial America, about  the history of our nation's trash. Look for the trash can icon on our calendar for lectures and other activities in this series. (Photo by D'Arcy Norman.) 

Waste Ecologies: Waste is Natural and Necessary, So How Do We Design Our Future?

Stuff by the Yard: Campus Materials Management

Terrible and Charismatic Waste: A Close Reading of Ocean Plastics

Products, Plastics, Putrefaction, and Power

The Archaeologist's View of Trash

Learning to Unsee

Trash Track: Reverse Engineering the Removal Chain

Rags, Bones, and Plastic Bags: Trash in Industrial America

Tornadoes, Twin Towers, and Hurricanes: 20 Years of Urban Disaster Clean-up

Garbage City and the Informal Economy: Film Clips & Discussion