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Research Colloquium | Consumerism, Cheap Nature, and State Socialism: A Transnational Waste Regime Perspective (Zsuzsa Gille)

| Research Colloquium

In the first Research Colloquium session of this year Zsuzsa Gille will explore state socialism and the environment from a transnational perspective.

The goal of this lecture is to reevaluate state socialism’s environmental record from a transnational rather than a comparative perspective. I will argue that state socialist modernity had its own view of nature and materials, as well as a largely misunderstood ethical stance to consumption that is ignored in today’s studies of Capitalocene examining the interrelations of capitalism and climate crisis. The presentation will provide an overview of the environmental advantages and disadvantages of central planning with an eye to demonstrating how Cold-War-era trans-bloc relations and a unique socialist economic logic mutually constituted each other. Instead of returning to the rightfully criticized Anthropocene term, I will argue for a more central role for waste and materiality in our understanding of the current dilemmas around global environmental problems.

Zsuzsa Gille (Urbana/Illinois) is Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has published on issues of qualitative methodology as it relates to globalization and new concepts of space, on environmental politics and on the sociology of food. Her research interests are environmental sociology, Eastern Europe, European Union, global and transnational sociology, sociology of consumption, food, knowledge, materiality, waste, contemporary social theory and ethnography.

When?  Thursday, 20 January 2022, 16:15 CET

Where?  online via Zoom, Meeting-ID:  614 4762 1903

The research colloquium is organized in cooperation with the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies (GS OSESUR). The full program for the winter semester can be found here.