On Friday, February 8, 2019 Shannon Lee Dawdy from the Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago will present the Center for Translating Research Into Practice annual Keynote Address at 12 noon in the IUPUI University Library Lilly Auditorium Room 0130. There is no cost to attend and all are welcome!
“ Mound-Building and the Politics of Disaster Debris"
The debris pile from 134,000 New Orleans buildings damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina is visible from space. Although there was some effort to recycle materials through a little-known global market in demolition debris, most of the rubble amassed in place. In the future, archaeologists might reasonably consider the hurricane landfill a monumental structure. In the 1970s, Bill Rathje boldly suggested that an archaeological approach to contemporary life can reveal things about ourselves we didn’t know. Modern landfills were his field sites. In this project, I think through Rathje’s garbology and the exceptionalism of disaster sites using the example of the Katrina landfill. Studying the movement of disaster debris and contestations over its futurity reveals how important the management of debris and its ideological effects are to local and national governments. Trash is political. And politics is an assemblage of the human and the non-human, the intentional and the accidental.
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