William Bennett Munro Memorial Seminar
That we live in a "throwaway society" is a common complaint. This lecture offers a historical investigation of waste, asking whether people in modern societies have really become more wasteful. It follows the changing qualities as well as quantities of waste. And it places wasting alongside other kinds of disposal and end use, including storage, collecting, repair and re-use. Drawing on Frank Trentmann's forthcoming book, the paper will also discuss the challenges (and opportunities) of writing about consumption across time and space.