Lectures

Plastic Pollution Goes Far Beyond Litter

Plastic litter at the outskirts of a village.

Plastics in the oceans. Beaches littered with plastics. Images of whales and cows with plastics in their bellies. Calls for citizens not to litter, to throw away trash responsibly, to join clean up drives, to recycle. In the public imagination, the problem of plastics has largely become one of litter.

Plastic litter …

Books

Book forum: Julie Livington’s Self-Devouring Growth

This article is part of the series:

This book forum brings together seven scholars to discuss Julie Livingston’s Self-Devouring Growth: A Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa (Duke 2019), a story of what grows alongside “growth” and the price of “a good life.” Botswana offers lessons that are peopled and elemental; lessons that tug between the local and the global. Livingston shows how water, food, transportation…

Lectures

Events of Disruptive Transformation

This article is part of the series:

We have been discussing the prospects of catastrophes of our own making for decades. We have been debating risks linked to anthropogenic climate change and runaway technologies, trying to fathom even those futures that we otherwise deem unfathomable. Yet it is a known natural risk that wreaks havoc around the globe today.

Events of Surprise

Despite the fact that we …

Lectures

Clean in Times of Covid-19: on Hygiene and Pollution

This article is part of the series:

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, air pollution and greenhouse emissions decrease, or so news reports say. The satellite images of China in lockdown provided a first striking example. In response to this, one Dutch newspaper even proclaimed ‘a winner’ in the coronavirus pandemic, namely ‘the environment’. But that is a bit too hasty. Not only are (as environmental experts warn) …

Lectures

Silent Spring in Europe calls for a New Social Ecology

This article is part of the series:

Deserted streets in Rome, empty dance-halls in Berlin, died-out tourist attractions in Barcelona, and a lonely Eiffel-Tower in Paris: Europe is experiencing its first locked-down spring. It marks an experiential as well as a paradoxical break in our everyday lives. On the one hand, Covid-19 has emerged as a brutal, tragic and unquestionable fact within world society. On the other …

Lectures

Who feeds (on) whom? Labour and the porosity of environments and bodies

Hannah Landecker writes about the new metabolism as “a model in which food enters the body and in a sense never leaves it, because food transforms the organism’s being as much as the organism transforms it” (2011: 177). Articulating Landecker’s insights into the porosity of bodies through an anthropological lens, Harris Solomon (2016) offers an ethnography of absorption in the …