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Food, Waste, and Value in the 21st Century
27 September
11:00 - 12:30
Korte Spinhuissteeg
Conference Room

Food, Waste, and Value in the 21st Century


Sociologist Mindi Schneider will discuss waste and inequality, including issues of food waste in a food insecure world.

About the Seminar

Wasted time. Wasted energy. Wasted bodies. Wasted lives.

Food waste. E-waste. Plastic islands. Fatbergs.

Manure. Humanure. Sewege. Sludge.

Upcycling. Recycling. Repurposing. Renewing.

Biogas. Fertilizer. Offal. Leather.

What is waste? What is value? Who decides, in whose interests, and to whose detriment? How are waste and value connected? Who can escape or elude waste, and who cannot? How does studying waste, value, and the material and symbolic transformations between the two extend theoretical approaches for analyzing the ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in development, and in food-related politics in particular?

Mindi Schneider’s project at NIAS takes up these topics and questions, working toward a political ecology of food, waste, and value in the 21st century. She’s interested in theorizing waste as a historically contingent concept, and tracing its connection to social, political-economic, and ecological ‘orders’ and relations. In the seminar, Mindi Schneider will share her initial mapping of scholarly thinking on waste, discuss her motivations and goals for working on food and value from the perspective of waste, and outline her research project and questions. As the project is in a very early stage, the seminar will be more explorative than definitive. Anneke Smelik, whose work on visual culture and ‘fast fashion’ has interesting overlaps with theories of waste and value, will be the discussant.

About NIAS Seminars

NIAS Seminars are aimed to stimulate scientific cross-pollination within the NIAS academic community, but seminars are open to others who are interested. Please  if you wish to attend.