Waste, Expenditure and Resilience: New Discourses, Politics and Public Performances
The School of Business and Creative Industries at the University of the West of Scotland has a strong and growing research community of world-leading excellence. This funded PhD Studentship seeks an ambitious researcher who is committed to developing original performance through practice-as-research at the interface of civic engagement and interdisciplinary research enquiry. The relevance of the proposed topic of research can be seen across a variety of contemporary geo-political contexts but this studentship has been inspired by Georges Bataille’s important ideas on ‘waste’ which appeared in his 1933 essay ‘The notion of expenditure’. Here, economic utility is not only conflated within a system of conspicuous waste, consumption and expenditure, but directly related to business, industry and capital. The relevance of Bataille’s argument for us today becomes more urgent by conceiving ‘waste’ as being an indispensable part of the very energy of creation. The fundamental assumption is found in the relation between energy and economy, as well as in the resulting inequalities and the catastrophic consequences that arise from this relation. What often results is the sacrifice of human beings through war and other forms of conflict that mark them as disposable – or else, the kind of ‘wastefulness’ that results from an economy of exploitation and/or violence.
The research study invites new thinking about the production of ‘waste’ and particularly the biopolitical production of people-as-waste, aiming to interrogate current socio-politico-economic models that go beyond the mere consumption–waste–destruction model. It is expected that the successful candidate will record narratives of ‘waste’ and curate a series of civic engagement events in accordance with the project’s research objectives and UWS’s commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goals. (https://sdgs.un.org/goals(https://sdgs.un.org/goals). The project’s research topic of ‘Waste’ is broad enough to bring candidates from a range of academic disciplines as long as they are willing to develop interdisciplinary research-as-practice using performance as their principal medium of investigation.
The PhD studentship is hosted by the Protracted Crisis Research Centre (https://www.uws.ac.uk/pcrc) and the candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with the Compound 13 Lab based in Mumbai, India (www.compound13.org), and the Refugee Centre in Lesbos, Greece. It is likely that the project will include the facilitating of international performance/exchange events with international collaborators. In addition, you will participate in the planning and running of an international symposium on ‘Performing Waste, Resilience and Sustainability,' and be given the opportunity to get involved with emerging networks. The candidate will complete training in ethical research and will work towards the publication of parts of this PhD in esteemed, peer-reviewed journals as well as producing public, practice-based outputs.
For more information about the PhD Studentship or any enquires about the project, please contact Dr Eve Katsouraki (lead supervisor) ([Email Address Removed]) and/or Dr Henry Bell ([Email Address Removed]) and/or Prof Graham Jeffery ([Email Address Removed]).