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On the Upcycle in Zagreb: ESEH 2017 June 29

zagreb-squareThe European Society for Environmental History holds its biannual conference in Zagreb, Croatia this summer, and I am participating in two panels related to the history of waste.

At 11am Thursday June 29, I will chair the panel “Cultures of Waste – How Waste has Played out in Different Settings.”

Room: ARCH-11
Chair: Carl Zimring, Pratt Institute, USA
Waste and Authority: Articulating State Responses to the Problem of Littering in Norway and Singapore, 1950-2000. Finn Arne Jørgensen, Umeå University, Sweden
Waste Management in North-East India: Mizoram in Colonial Times. Jagdish Lal Dawar, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, India
Waste Studies at the OECD – in Search of a Comprehensive Waste Management Policy. Iris Borowy, Shanghai University, China
“Garbage Imperialism” or “Voluntary Exchange”? How to Make Sense of the World’s Hazardous Waste Trade. Simone M. Müller, Rachel Carson Center LMU, Germany

Immediately afterwards (at 2pm), I am presenting a paper based on my book Alumimum Upcycled in the session “Waste Or Valuable Material?”
Room: GEO-4
Chair: Marco Armiero, KTH – Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
On the Upcycle? Sustainable Design Strategies in Historical Perspective. Carl Zimring, Pratt Institute, USA
Urban Landscapes and Garbage: Public Policies for Urban Solid Waste in Brazil. Esther Mayara Rossi, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
Waste Management after production and Consumption in Anamorava’s Region.
Sadbere Biçku, Independent scholar
Shpejtim Bulliqi, University of Prishtina, Kosovo Florim Isufi, University of Prishtina, Kosovo

For more information, please visit the ESEH website. I am delighted we have so many presentations on aspects of waste history and look forward to the conversations in Zagreb.

 

H-Environment Roundtable on Race and the Environment

This week, H-Environment published a roundtable double review of Carolyn Finney’s Black Faces, White Spaces and my Clean and White, featuring comments from Mary E. Mendoza, Kathryn Morse, Richard M. Mizelle, Jr., and Traci Brynne Voyles, and responses by both authors. The link opens the 38-page PDF.

Thanks to all of the participants for such an engaging discussion, and to editor Christopher F. Jones for organizing this ambitious double roundtable.

The World Says You’re Seen.

The World Says” is unusual. Karl Hendricks recorded albums almost always as a trio, and 2007’s The World Says is the only album by the four-piece Rock Band. On a record informed by Crazy Horse’s guitar duels, the title track stands alone as a piano and (mostly) acoustic guitar musing. Here’s the first verse:

When I showed up from Bermuda
They didn’t act surprised
When I threw myself in front of a train
They pulled me back, said “Not this time.”
And when I joined the Army
They didn’t give away my LPs
I licked the inside of a urinal
They just blessed my sneeze
If you’ve ever tried to disappear
Then you’ll know what I mean
You keep insisting you’re invisible
The world says you’re seen

Some songs show their value through sales; Billy Ray Cyrus grew wealthy from “Achy Breaky Heart” years before his daughter became a celebrity. Other songs show their value in resonance to the listener. “The World Says” is one of those songs, for me.

The summer of 2007 found me traveling to Seattle to help my Uncle John. He had gone there to see if an experimental trial could arrest his mantle cell lymphoma. John endured two years of treatments and this was his last best hope. We met with nutritionists, therapists, and doctor after doctor to get him ready for the trial, but the cancer was too advanced to let him proceed. He was gone within four weeks.

I did not find comfort in much at the time, but “The World Says” was therapeutic when I felt powerless. I am forever grateful to Karl for giving me that.

Karl died this morning. If you did not know him, his modesty and kindness belied his talents. He spent more than a quarter century as a buyer at and owner of Pittsburgh’s best record store, enhancing the musical literacy of so many of us who lived in western Pennsylvania. Karl Hendricks was as much a civic leader of Pittsburgh during that time as anyone, without even considering the music he created.

If you did not know his music, you can learn about some of the best rock music made the past quarter century and give some money to his family by purchasing his records from Bandcamp or Comedy Minus One. They are all worth it, from the cover art to the guitar playing to Karl’s lyrics.

Karl’s writing is better than anything I can provide, so please listen to him instead of me. When he sold his store last summer, I posted a list of favorite songs of his and repeat that list now as entryways into his catalog. Thanks always to Karl.

10. “Know More About Jazz.”
9. “Baseball Cards.”
8. “Underdog Park.”
7. “Naked and High on Drugs.”
6. “The Ballad of Bill Lee.”
5. “The Official Shape of Beauty.”
4. “The Mens’ Room at the Airport.”
3. “Nogales By Tuesday.”
2. “The World Says.”
1.”Dreams Ha.”
(This link is the only one on the list not to one of the Bandcamp pages. It opens a solo video Karl made in 2011. More on why it tops the list here.)

Brooklyn Book Event Sunday Afternoon: BF+DA Sustainability+Technology Book Fair

bfda-communal-spaceSunday afternoon, I’ll discuss and sign copies of Clean and White at the BF+DA Sustainability+Technology Book Fair (630 Flushing Ave., 7th floor) in Brooklyn.

Come and meet 12+ authors who have published books focused on ethical design, sustainability, technology, design and fashion and join us for two 40 minute in-depth conversations moderated by BF+DA Founder Deb Johnson.

3 pm Doors open. Book signing throughout the afternoon.
3:45-4:45 pm: Group discussion on sustainability and technology in the 21st century and where there are intersections that are leading more people to want to be part…or not.
Participating authors include:

Lynda Grose, Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change
Carl Zimring, Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States
Timo Rissanen, Zero Waste Fashion Design
Sass Brown, EcoFashion, Refashioned
Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, Smart Textiles for Designers: Inventing the Future of Fabric
Deborah Schneiderman and Alexa Griffith Winton, Textile Technology and Design: From Interior Space to Outer Space
Elizabeth Cline, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Ira Livingston, Poetics as a Theory of Everything
John Lobell, Visionary Creativity: How New Worlds Are Born
Luba Lukova, Social Justice 2008, 12 Posters by Luba Lukova
Meta Brunzema, Feminist Practices
Kate Black, Magnifeco
6 pm End of book fair.

The event is free, but please RSVP for a ticket at the link.

Brooklyn Book Event April 10: BF+DA Sustainability+Technology Book Fair

UPDATE: The two sessions have been merged into one big session featuring all of the authors. See the event link for updates and join us!

bfda-communal-spaceOn the afternoon of Sunday April 10, I’ll discuss and sign copies of Clean and White at the BF+DA Sustainability+Technology Book Fair (630 Flushing Ave., 7th floor) in Brooklyn.

Come and meet 12+ authors who have published books focused on ethical design, sustainability, technology, design and fashion and join us for two 40 minute in-depth conversations moderated by BF+DA Founder Deb Johnson.

3 pm Doors open. Book signing throughout the afternoon.
3:30 pm: Ethics + Environment featuring Lynda Grose, Carl Zimring, Timo Rissanen, Elizabeth Cline and Sass Brown
4:30 pm: Technology + Fashion + Design featuring Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, Deborah Schneiderman and Alexa Griffith Winton, John Lobell, Ira Livingston
6 pm End of book fair.

The event is free, but please RSVP for a ticket at the link.

Clean and White Available Today

My new book is officially released today. Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States is available as a hardback and as an ebook.

From NYU Press:

C&Wcover

When Joe Biden attempted to compliment Barack Obama by calling him “clean and articulate,” he unwittingly tapped into one of the most destructive racial stereotypes in American history. This book tells the history of the corrosive idea that whites are clean and those who are not white are dirty. From the age of Thomas Jefferson to the Memphis Public Workers strike of 1968 through the present day, ideas about race and waste have shaped where people have lived, where people have worked, and how American society’s wastes have been managed.
Clean and White offers a history of environmental racism in the United States focusing on constructions of race and hygiene. In the wake of the civil war, as the nation encountered emancipation, mass immigration, and the growth of an urbanized society, Americans began to conflate the ideas of race and waste. Certain immigrant groups took on waste management labor, such as Jews and scrap metal recycling, fostering connections between the socially marginalized and refuse. Ethnic “purity” was tied to pure cleanliness, and hygiene became a central aspect of white identity.
Carl A. Zimring here draws on historical evidence from statesmen, scholars, sanitarians, novelists, activists, advertisements, and the United States Census of Population to reveal changing constructions of environmental racism. The material consequences of these attitudes endured and expanded through the twentieth century, shaping waste management systems and environmental inequalities that endure into the twenty-first century. Today, the bigoted idea  that non-whites are “dirty” remains deeply ingrained in the national psyche, continuing to shape social and environmental inequalities in the age of Obama.
The book is available at these outlets: