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07/08/2021 - 07/08/2021 | Bielefeld

Toxic Commons. Disciplinary Perspectives and Interdisciplinary Conversations

Workshop convened by Simone M. Müller (München, GER) and
Angeliki Balayannis (Exeter, GBR)

In the age of the Anthropocene our commons, such as air, water, and ground, are increasingly toxic and the experience of toxic exposure, albeit not equal, is increasingly common. We lack, however, tools of analysis to scrutinize these developments of an everyday toxic exposure. Rather, scholars in the interdisciplinary fields of environmental justice, toxicity studies, and environmental history of toxicity and poisons, rely on binary notions of externalization that divide between an outside and inside system, victims and perpetrators, and suggest that there exists a safe haven (free of toxicity) as well as (eventually) an ultimate sink.

This interdisciplinary workshop seeks to scrutinize both the concept as well as phenomenon of the toxic commons for the study of global environmental justice and the commons. The workshop aims to engage both in theoretical discussions about the concept as well as to learn from the study of toxic commons through concrete case studies. Contributions focus on concepts of commons and externalization or practices of resistance and commoning. Case studies exemplify toxic commons in urban settings or introduce the body as a toxic commons. The final session scrutinizes how the concept of the toxic commons opens up new avenues for artist-research engagement and new pathways for academic communication to a wider public. Scholars come from the fields of history, sociology, anthropology, law, and the arts.

Information on participating / attending:
Please direct questions concerning the organisation of the workshop to Marina Hoffmann at the Conference Office.
Tel: +49 521 106-2768
Fax: +49 521 106-152768

Questions regarding scientific content should be directed to the organizers.


07/08/2021 - 07/08/2021

Event venue:

Zentrum für interdisziplinäre Forschung
Universität Bielefeld
Center for Interdisciplinary Research
Bielefeld University
Methoden 1
33615 Bielefeld

Target group:

Scientists and scholars



Subject areas:

Art / design, Environment / ecology, History / archaeology, Law, Social studies

Types of events:

Seminar / workshop / discussion




Dr. Manuela Lenzen


Medien und News

Event is free:


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