December 11, 2018: HUH-EH Forum 10.: Double talks: Scott Slovic (U. Idaho) and Finn Arne Jørgensen (U. Stavanger)

December 11, 12.15-13.45
Kielikeskus (Language Center)
Fabianinkatu 26, Seminar Room 203

editor of ISLE journal, a renowned ecocritic from the University of Idaho.
“Toward an Empirical Environmental Humanities: What Counts as Data?”


December 11,2018.
Kielikeskus (Language Center),
Fabianinkatu 26, Seminar Room 403

PROFESSOR FINN ARNE JØRGENSEN, University of Stavanger and MIT PRESS author

The green aura that has surrounded the term “recycling” since the 1970s is fading away. Long hailed as an environmentally beneficial practice that both consumers and businesses could engage with, recycling has come under considerable pressure from a wide range of critics.

Few disagree that the general idea of recycling is good. What recycling aims to do is to close the loop, redirecting streams of matter into something circular that ideally never reaches the waste stage. The implication is that a society that is sufficiently efficient at recycling is a sustainable society. Yet, critics argue that recycling is far from a panacea – it is either insufficient, misleading, busywork, or a green illusion, depending on who you ask. The global consequences of recycling are becoming increasingly evident – especially in their uneven distribution.

This talk uses the emerging research field of Discard Studies as a way into this shifting idea of recycling. It will situate recycling as an activity and a process at the intersection of the material and the ideological, and in doing so, it will take us into complex territories, full of both contested symbols and unruly materiality, laden with cynicism and hope, anchored in economy and ecology.

Finn Arne Jørgensen is Professor of Environmental History at University of Stavanger, Norway. He directs the environmental humanities initiative The Greenhouse together with Dolly Jørgensen. He is the author of Making a Green Machine: The Infrastructure of Beverage Container Recycling (Rutgers University Press, 2011) and co-editor of New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013). This talk is based on Recycling: Essential Knowledge, which will be published with MIT Press in fall 2019.

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