Oct 28, 2021
Bodily Waste Discussion Group
- 11:00 to 12:30
- Discussion Group
- Dept. III
The group will scrutinise the categories of ‘waste’ and ’the body’. We will examine the classificatory principles applied to define them in their temporal and geographical variations, and the meanings and potentials of waste in various sociocultural settings in order to allow for a better understanding of the ideologies and practices of dealing with animal and human bodies. We will explore this versatile topic through approaches from history of science and medicine, anthropology, environmental history and urban studies.
The general questions for discussion and investigation include (but are not limited to):
- What can be considered waste and what are the conditions and presuppositions for classifying it as such?
- How does bodily waste as well as regulations, practices, and values related to it enable better understanding of 'the human' and ‘the animal'
- What opportunities does bodily waste open up for theorising and thinking about knowledge production and society?
The topic of the first meeting is Classifications and Boundaries (Part I). We will discuss two texts:
- Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. Routledge, 2003 (1966). Ch. 2 (Secular Defilement); Ch. 7 (External Boundaries); available here.
- Beth A. Conklin, “thus are our bodies, thus was our custom”: Mortuary Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society // American Ethnologist. 1995. Vol. 22. No. 1. P. 75-101; available here.
Contact and Registration
This is a hybrid event. To register, please contact Maria Pirogovskaya (email@example.com).
About This Series
The Out of Place, Out of Time working group is glad to launch its new discussion group, which will be dedicated to Bodily Waste, and invites everybody interested to participate.