The Recycling of Memory
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Explorations in the aesthetics of waste and the material infrastructure of memory.
Ours is a wasteful society, consumed with care for its remains, according to the contributors of Waste-Site Stories. Here scholars from around the world probe current notions of waste and the ways in which remains of different kinds recover value in the act of recollection and recycling. In the wake of destructive experiences that continue to trouble memory, there is something compelling about today's theoretical and artistic interest in waste and recycling. The two terms provide a purchase on changing conditions of cultural memory, on technological development and its sometimes toxic ecological and social fallout, and on the legacy of personal and historical trauma. They suggest new resources for the stories of our engagement with the things of the past and the sites where traces of history survive.
Brian Neville is an independent translator and editor. He is coeditor, with Johanne Villeneuve, of La Mémoire des déchets: Essais sur la culture et la valeur du passé. Johanne Villeneuve is Professor in the Département d'études littéraires at the Université du Québec à Montréal, where she teaches literature and film studies.
"The book deals with the construction of significance and the negative relation of a system to its own (unthought) foundation. The topic is as important in theoretical terms as it is in practical terms, and it leads us to question the opposition between such conventional frames of reference. This book intersects with so many other established disciplines—literary criticism, anthropology, art history, cultural studies, philosophy—and intervenes not just thematically but in their very construction as disciplines. " — Roy Sellars, University of Southern Denmark, Kolding
"Waste-Site Stories adds up to a tremendously useful compendium that will give scholars and students an easy, instantaneous footing in the research area of memory, loss, socially-engineered oblivion, the culture of wastefulness and collecting whose functioning this book helps us understand. " — Didier Maleuvre, author of Museum Memories: History, Technology, Art