"Waste as an Afterlife of Slavery: Black Disposability and the Plantation Logic of Cleaning"

MAR 02, 2020 | 6:00 PM TO 7:30 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


9100: Skylight Room


March 02, 2020: 6:00 PM-7:30 PM




Center for the Study of Women and Society



Trash has been made an intractable part of poor Black life. Racist fantasies of proximity and distance shape the infrastructural and social management of waste and what it means to declare something in need of cleaning. Overburdened by trash’s emplacement and signification, how do people live, challenge, and speak out the spatialized racial violence of disposability and the unmappable consequences of toxicity? This talk considers how Black feminist material practices respond to the production of waste flows—and the urban transformations that mitigate, rationalize, and direct them—experimenting with alternative forms of movement, Black futurity and being. 

About the Speaker

Dr. Marisa Solomon is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Baruch College (CUNY). Her research explores what it means to live with and alongside enforced proximity to trash. Exploring trash as a material, political, and discursive formation of racial capitalism, Dr. Solomon’s research considers how trash, toxicity, and disposability as afterlives of slavery shape Black fugitive practices and eco-political projects.  

Co-sponsored with the Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC), The Feminist Press, the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC), the PhD Program in Anthropology, and the Public Science Project.