Waste-Site Stories

The Recycling of Memory

Edited by Brian Neville & Johanne Villeneuve

Subjects: Mass Media
Paperback : 9780791453421, 271 pages, April 2002
Hardcover : 9780791453414, 271 pages, April 2002

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations


Introduction: In Lieu of Waste
Brian Neville and Johanne Villeneuve

Part I Waste

1. Objects from the Past
David Gross

2. Waste into Heritage: Remarks on Materials in the Arts, on Memories and the Museum
Susanne Hauser

3. Art and Archive: The Dissimulation Museum
Christine Bernier

4. Beyond the Archive
Aleida Assmann

5. The Acculturation of Waste
Walter Moser

6. Agencies of Cultural Feedback: The Infrastructure ofMemory
Wolfgang Ernst

7. Being Authentic: The Ambition to Recycle
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Part II Site

8. Mould, Rubble, and the Validation of the Fragment in the Discourse of the Past
Stephen Bann

9. Parthenon, Nashville: From the Site of History to the Sight of Memory
Éric Méchoulan

10. Taking Lanterns for Bladders: Symbolic and Material Appropriation in the Postmodern
Wlad Godzich

11. History's Mortal Remains
Valeria Wagner

12. Photo-Resemblance
Charles Grivel

13. Utopian Legacies: Memory, Mediation, Cinema
Johanne Villeneuve

14. SCrypt: Memory Building
Gordon Bleach



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