[URBANTH-L]Second CFP: The Anthropology of Freecycling

Angela Jancius jancius3022 at comcast.net
Sat Mar 21 13:33:15 EDT 2009

Dear Colleagues,

In order to build a double session, we hope to recruit two additional papers for our Anthropology of Freecycling panel.  Please see the call for papers announcement listed below and contact me as soon as possible if you are interested.





for the American Anthropological Association's annual conference

at the Philadelphia Marriott, December 2-6, 2009



Angela Jancius, Chair/Organizer

Freecycling is the act of giving away usable but unwanted items rather than 
hoarding or disposing of them.  It is related to other scavenging and 
sharing trends of late capitalism - from dumpster diving (an activity 
performed by "freegans"), to open source and creative commons software and 
publications, to guerrilla gardening (i.e. taking over abandoned properties 
to grow vegetables and flowers).  While turning discarded materials into 
usable goods has long been commonplace at the economic peripheries of 
capitalism, it has not been a usual practice in wealthy, heavily 
industrialized centers - perhaps, that is, until now.  Following four 
decades of large industry's disappearance, capped off by an escalating 
fiscal crisis, the capital value of goods and labor in the wealthiest G8 
countries is visibly in decline.  It should be of no surprise, perhaps, that 
sharing and gleaning, as a way of life, is gaining popularity.  Drawing from 
ethnographic comparisons, and defining freecycling in the broadest sense, 
this panel seeks to explore:  How should "freecycling" be defined? Who 
engages in freecycling?  Why do people freecycle?  What impact does 
freecycling have on formal modes of production and economic exchange?  How 
does it relate to other social and economic developments of late capitalism? 
Is it a subversive activity?  How does freecycling compare in rural and 
urban areas, and in global contexts?

Ethnographic and theoretical papers are sought that treat these and related 
themes.  Following the AAA conference, we will explore the possibility of 
publishing the papers as an edited volume.

If you are interested in participating in this panel, please contact Angela Jancius 

(jancius3022 at comcast.net) with an initial email conveying your interest and 

send an your 250-word abstract no later than March 28, 2009.

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