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Archive for May, 2013

Congratulations to Dr. Graham Pickren

May 16, 2013 Comments off

Congratulations to the new “Dr.” Graham Pickren for defending his excellent dissertation today entitled “Understanding the Emerging E-Waste Regime: The Politics of Certification and Labeling in the Electronics Recycling Industry!  Thanks to his committee members Drs. Amy Ross, Hilda Kurtz, Josh Barkan and external member, David Pellow (in Sociology at U of Minnesota).

Abstract:

Recent work on the electronics recycling industry has drawn attention to the hazards associated with the export of used electronics, or e-wastes, from the U.S. to informal recycling sites in developing countries where hazardous recycling practices are often used. This dissertation seeks to understand how the geographic movement of e-waste becomes a subject of political concern and to evaluate the types of political interventions that have been developed in the U.S. to confront this growing ‘e-waste problem’. My empirical work investigates the development of labeling and certification schemes for electronics recyclers designed to embed some modicum of accountability into the used electronics supply chain. In addition, extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws seek to reduce the use of toxics in electronics production by requiring producers to take financial responsibility for the end-of-life management of their products. Thus, the politics of e-waste in the U.S. revolve around attempts to mitigate hazardous ‘downstream’ flows of discards while also working to make ‘upstream’ preventative changes in production. By examining the important roles that consumers, NGO’s, corporate actors, and governments play in these processes, my work speaks to the opportunities and limitations of contemporary forms of social and environmental governance. I utilized qualitative methods, including interviews, archival work, and participation in policy workshops through the United Nations University’s Solving the E-Waste Problem Initiative. My analysis of e-waste politics points to a broader critique of sustainability and of the ‘greening’ of capitalism more generally. Finally, this work contributes to the study of one of the more profound contradictions of the information age: although seemingly ‘virtual’, placeless, and predicated upon flows of information, the rise of digital technologies is grounded in particular places with particular socio-natural effects.

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2013 Antipode Foundation Annual Meeting in Athens, GA

May 11, 2013 Comments off

Having created the Antipode Foundation, the Foundation’s Trustees must meet annually to assess a host of financial and staff issues related to the function of the journal and an array of other activities we’ve brought together under the Foundation.   I got to organize the 2013 meeting so we met on my turf in Athens.

In addition to assessing how some of the funding initiates went last year, we renewed the call for the 2014 Scholar-Activist Project Awards and the 2014 International Workshop Awards.

Additionally, we had the pleasure of affirming unanimous support for the two new members of the Editorial Collective who will replace Wendy Larner and I in August.  Nik Theodore (as Managing Editor) and Jenny Pickerill will join remaining Collective members Vinay Gidwani (University of Minnesota), Sharad Chari (University of the Witwatersrand), Katherine McKittrick (Queen’s University) and Andy Kent.

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40th Anniversary of Social Justice and the City

May 4, 2013 Comments off

I was excited to have been able to talk at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of David Harvey’s Social Justice and the City.  I talked about ‘The Biographies of Three Editions”  (essentially how each of the three editions I own has impacted my thinking at different times).

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