Beirut's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR)

The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) will be hosting the following events during Fall 2015-2016:

What Waste Reveals about Capitalism’s Crisis State
Lecturer: Michelle Yates
Affiliation: Assistant professor of Cultural Studies and Humanities, Columbia College Chicago
Date: 26 October 2015
Place: Conf. A, building 37 (behind the old Lee observatory)
Time: 5pm

In the contemporary American moment, there is an ever increasing amount of material waste discarded after production but prior to consumption. This “pre-consumer waste” could add up to as much as 1 billion tons each year in the United States and Western Europe. My talk intends to account for this phenomenon by situating pre-consumer waste in an era of late capitalism where production functions as a treadmill producing an explosion of material wealth, all in order to procure the most amount of monetary wealth possible, i.e. the ‘lure of profitability.’ The lure of profitability not only generates usable items as waste, but also functions to waste human life, or the ‘human-as-waste,’ as well as waste nature as the natural conditions of production, or ‘nature-as-waste.’

Dr. Michelle Yates is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Humanities, and Coordinator of the Women's and Gender Studies minor, in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. Dr. Yates received her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University of California at Davis. Her work is situated in the environmental humanities at the intersection of critical theory, film and media, and gender and sexuality. She is currently working on her first book, titled Ecological Crisis: Waste, Immiseration, and the Lure of Profitability in Late Capitalism.


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