Literary Geographies of Waste

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 

We are looking for proposals or full essays that explore the concept of "waste" from either a literary or a cultural studies perspective. This is a companion to a parallel project dealing with waste through the lens of the social sciences. Now we would like to hear from literary and cultural studies.

“Waste” is a broad and multifaceted concept, always open to interpretation. We want to keep it that way, partly because we are looking for fresh voices, and partly because we want to facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation. However, for clarity’s sake, waste is here defined as “material that we failed to use” (Gille, 2018). Gille’s succinct definition reads like an updated version of Mary Douglas’s (1966) classic take on “dirt” —“matter out of place” —, this time formulated under the banner of the Anthropocene. For a deeper look into the concept of waste, please read the following texts:


  • Gille, Z., 2018. Of Fish Feces, Shamanic Bowls and Chimpanzee Scraps: Extension vs Precision in the Concept of Waste. Worldwide Waste: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 1(1), p.2. DOI:




Please send your proposals or full texts (including a short biographical note) to the Editors by August 15. Please do not send attachments. Copy and paste your proposal or full drafts on the main body of the email.