UCL Anthropology


Sustainability, Environment and the Culture of Materials (SEM)

(Run by Victor Buchli, Convenor: Saffron Woodcraft

WHERE & WHEN: On second Tuesday of every month, 1-2 pm, Room 128
FIRST MEETING: Tuesday 9th October 2011, 1-2pm, Room 128

'Sustainability', often evoking environmental and ecological notions, in all its forms is impacting on the material and social surroundings in which people live their everyday lives It has affected the way we shop, eat and move, and is a recurring idea in public planning and government policy. Yet the precise meaning of the term remains elusive, it is often invoked and rarely substantiated: it is a term "with no clear analytical bite" (Beckerman, 2008:1).

This reading and research group will bring together interested staff and graduate students to explore and debate cross-disciplinary work exploring the concepts and practices of sustainability. We will explore the implications of an under-theorized and over-used idea of sustainability: looking at what it allows and prohibits? What kind of material, economic, moral and political orders are supported? What kind of practical activities are facilitated or discouraged?

In addition to critically engaging with the research, concepts and competing theories, the group will include discussions about our own work.

Register interest for the group on Moodle.

Email saffron.woodcraft.11@ucl.ac.uk for more information.