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  • Lorelle VanFossen 10:13 pm on March 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , city garbage management, educational books, england, , historical trash, history, london, municipal garbage, reading material, , , victorian   

    New Book: Dirty Old London: A History of the Victorians’ Infamous Filth 

    NPR Radio did a special report on the new book by Lee Jackson, “‘Dirty Old London’: A History Of The Victorians’ Infamous Filth.”

    In the 19th century, London was the capital of the largest empire the world had ever known — and it was infamously filthy. It had choking, sooty fogs; the Thames River was thick with human sewage; and the streets were covered with mud.

    But according to Lee Jackson, author of Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight Against Filth, mud was actually a euphemism. “It was essentially composed of horse dung,” he tells Fresh Air’s Sam Briger. “There were tens of thousands of working horses in London [with] inevitable consequences for the streets. And the Victorians never really found an effective way of removing that, unfortunately.”

    In fact, by the 1890s, there were approximately 300,000 horses and 1,000 tons of dung a day in London. What the Victorians did, Lee says, was employ boys ages 12 to 14 to dodge between the traffic and try to scoop up the excrement as soon as it hit the streets.

    To the public health-minded Victorian, London presented an overwhelming reform challenge. But there wasn’t change until the city took over.

    “It takes decades for people to accept that the state perhaps has a role in how they manage their household, how they manage their rubbish, their toilet facilities even,” Lee says. “The state basically does intervene and it is that idea of a central authority that is actively concerned — what the Victorians would’ve called ‘municipal socialism.’ … That mission to improve people’s lives on a very day-to-day basis was carried on throughout the 20th century.”

    You can listen to the interview and read the interview highlights on NPR.

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 6:41 am on October 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abstracts, , , , , , excess, , forms of excess, , history, , , literature, , , , workshop   

    Call for Abstracts on Forms of Excess in Post-1960 Art, Film, and Literature 

    Discard Studies announced a call for abstracts on the topic of “Forms of Excess in Post-1960 Art, Film, and Literature” for the University of York in the UK with a February 2015 deadline, followed up with a special event workshop and exhibits.

    This appears to be an open request, and it comes with some interesting topic ideas, many of which may apply to our Garbology campus and classroom projects.

    Visual art, film, and literature since 1960 has been marked by leftovers, repetitions, and time lags, despite emerging in a climate of accelerated technological development and the erasure of leisure time. From artworks that incorporate the trash and detritus of consumerist excess to novels and films that indulge in narrative ‘time-wasting,’ the cultural production of the last fifty years has revelled in the wasteful and excessive. This event asks: what are the aesthetics of excess? What are its material, temporal and figurative manifestations? Is artistic time-wasting a radical form of resistance to the capitalist imperative to be productive? Or do art’s glorious expenditures reinforce aesthetic hierarchies that privilege ‘difficulty’? We invite 20-minute papers from postgraduates and early-career researchers that engage with waste and excess in post-1960 art, literature, and film. Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

    • Narrative: digressions; footnotes and marginalia; listing; repetition; the non-event; the filler; reality effects
    • Queer theory: the concept of the queer subject as embodying non-(re)productivity; queer temporalities; drag and camp as recycling
    • The body: labour; time-wasting and protest
    • Feminism: the gendered dynamics of lack and excess
    • Economic surplus: abstraction; financial markets; concepts of utility and value
    • Digital waste: big data; information overload; archive fever
    • Cold War politics: nuclear waste; abundance and wasting as critical tactics
 
  • Lorelle VanFossen 5:51 am on October 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , antropology, archaelogy, , , , , higher education, history, research, , sciences, waste studies,   

    Discard Studies 

    Jeff Wall, The Destroyed Room, 1978. Glenstone. Bedroom with all the furnishings destroyed.

    Discard Studies is an educational site that explores the “throw-away culture.” Called “Critical Discard Studies,” it is an emerging interdisciplinary sub-field associated with Garbology and related natural and historical sciences. It studies and questions the premises of what seems normal or given within the greater role of society and culture, focusing not only on what we throw away but our wasteful life practices and culture.

    The site is designed as an online social platform for scholars, activists, environmentalists, students, and others involved in the study of waste and wasting to gather and showcase and discuss this new field of study.

    The team behind the site recently released the Discard Studies Compendium, a glossary of critical key terms associated with studying waste and wasting, and as part of their effort to continue to develop this science discipline. It is a tremendous resource of garbage related terminology.

    Article highlights that feature links to research papers and calls for papers as well as topics for information and discussion include:

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 6:28 am on October 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cities, city clean up, , garbage trucks, historical images, history, history of garbage, , , sewer systems   

    Historical Images from Seattle Municipal Archives 

    The Flickr collection by the Seattle Municipal Archives offers rare images associated with garbage collection, sewer development, recycling, and clean up days in Seattle since the early 1900s. These images are public domain and available to use in your classes.

    Historical Garbage Truck in Seattle - Seattle Municipal ArchivesClean Up Day in SeattleEarly recycling can in Seattle - Seattle Municipal Archives.Horse and wagon for picking up garbage in Seattle - Seattle Municipal ArchivesStreet flusher, cleaning out the dirty streets of Seattle - Seattle Municipal ArchivesCollecting, sorting, and recycling bottles in Seattle - Seattle Municipal Archives.Working on building the sewer lines in Seattle - Seattle Municipal Archives.Recycling program collection bags - Seattle Municipal Archives.Hauling the garbage away after a clean up in Seattle - Seattle Municipal Archives.

     
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