Queer Trash and Feminist Excretions: New Directions in Literary and Cultural Waste Studies

Rachele Dini (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

Queer Trash and Feminist Excretions brings together essays by leading and emergent scholars in the field of Waste Studies, broadly defined, who share a concern with unpacking the ways in which capitalist modes of valuation are premised on, and in turn reproduce, longstanding gender, sexual, and (although this is not our primary focus) racial hierarchies. The essays in this volume are about human and animal excrement, and about industrial by-products including nuclear fallout and toxic emissions that end up in waterways and the air we breathe. They are about menstrual blood, vaginal discharge, afterbirths, and semen. They are about trash cans, landfills, and street litter. But more than this, they are about how twentieth- and twenty-first century novelists, poets, performance artists, sculptors, film makers, and artists hailing from North America, Europe, Asia, and South America have utilised these waste forms to both critique capitalist structures of power and imagine other possible futures. In the texts, films, installations, and costumes examined by our contributors, toxic pollutants, fabric scraps, cast-off packaging, bodily emissions, and language fragments are reconfigured and granted new meanings in narratives that challenge heteronormative and patriarchal structures, and expose capital’s reliance on these to extract value from workers and natural resources, often with devastating consequences.

In focussing on literature, art, and cinema by and about female and queer subjects, the contributors to this volume seek to re-dress the white male hetero-centricity of Waste Studies, and particularly Literary Waste Studies, where scholarship with very few exceptions remains confined to the analysis of texts by white male writers, thus at once reinforcing outdated notions of canonicity and literary value, and, perhaps more importantly, undermining the very credibility of a field purportedly intent on critiquing established categorisations of worth
Original languageEnglish
PublisherState University of New York
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • waste
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • queer theory
  • queer studies
  • waste studies
  • discard studies
  • twentieth-century culture
  • twenty-first century literature
  • twentieth-century fiction

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