Metaphors of Waste – welcoming Jamie Furniss to Aberystwyth

“Metaphors of Waste: From the decades of development to the ages of neoliberalism.. “
 
Dear all,
 
Dr Jamie FurnissThe Environmental Politics Research Group welcomes you to its first speaker event of the year! On Tuesday 29 October Dr. Jamie Furniss (University of Edinburgh) will speak on the politics of waste in Cairo. Jamie is the director of the MSc in International Development at the University of Edinburgh and has a background in international development, anthropology and law. His talk Metaphors of Waste: from the ‘decade of development to the ages of neoliberalism’ will focus on the ‘evolution of technologies, projects and philosophies of development’, and situate these within a broader context of neoliberalism and biopolitics (see the abstract below).
 
The event is jointly organised with DGES (Dialogues in Human Geography series) and will take place in the Geography building (Llandinam) at 4pm on Tuesday 29 October in the senior common room on LFloor. Afterwards, we’ll be going for drinks in Scholars followed by a meal at Casablanca. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with one particular scholar’s work in-depth and in an informal way. It also is a chance for Geographers and Politics students to mingle and find out what one another’s work really is about..
 
If you don’t know where to find L-floor or Llandinam please send an email to jmh23. Same for if you’d wish to attend the meal, let me know ASAP as places are limited!
 
Finally, for a preview of what promises to be a very engaging talk about a fascinating topic relevant to a variety of academic perspectives, see Jamie’s TED talk on the topic:
 
All welcome.
 
Katharina Hone & Justa Hopma
Convenors Environmental Politics Research Group
 
 
ABSTRACT
 
Metaphors of Waste: from the ‘decade of development’ to the ages of neoliberalism and biopolitics

And the following as a longer abstract (I am open to modifications you would like to suggest):


The struggle with garbage is not only a physical struggle to deal with the unwanted stuff people throw away. It is also a struggle over meanings. At the centre of that struggle in Cairo are the Zabbaleen: the city’s ‘informal sector’ or ‘traditional’ waste collectors. Over the past 40 years the Zabbaleen have been the focus of a great deal of outside attention and intervention, especially by the Egyptian state and development organizations. How have these outsiders represented and construed garbage and those who collect? Of what is waste a metaphor in their view; what can be a metaphor for waste? What have they wanted to change about the Zabbaleen? The case-study reveals the evolution of technologies, projects and philosophies of development, as well as the weight of the ‘developmental’ outlook relative to other paradigms, such as neoliberalism and biopolitics, from the 1970s to the present. It also provides a window into conceptualizations of cleanliness, pollution and waste in Egypt, and how these have shaped figurations of development and modernity.
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