Pollution, Persistence, and Politics
There is virtually nowhere on Earth today that remains untouched by plastic and ecosystems are evolving to adapt to this new context. While plastics have revolutionized our modern world, new and often unforeseen effects of plastic and its production are continually being discovered. Plastics are entangled in multiple ecological and social crises, from the plasticization of the oceans to the embeddedness of plastics in political hierarchies
The complexities surrounding the global plastic crisis require an interdisciplinary approach and the materialities of plastic demand new temporalities of thought and action. Plastic Legacies brings together scholars from the fields of marine biology, psychology, anthropology, environmental studies, Indigenous studies, and media studies to investigate and address the urgent socio-ecological challenges brought about by plastics. Contributors consider the unpredictable nature of plastics and weigh actionable solutions and mitigation processes against the ever-changing situation. Moving beyond policy changes, this volume offers a critique of neoliberal approaches to tackling the plastics crisis and explores how politics and communicative action are key to implementing social, cultural, and economic change.
Trisia Farrellyis a senior lecturer in social anthropology and a co-director of the Political Ecology Research Centre at Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand. She is co-founder of the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council and the Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance. She has been a member of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Expert Group (Marine Litter and Microplastics) since 2017; and she was nominated to its associated Scientific Advisory Committee in 2019.
Sy Taffel is a senior lecturer in media studies and co-director of the Political Ecology Research Centre at Massey University, Aotearoa New Zealand. He has published work on political ecologies of digital media, media and materiality, hacktivism, digital automation, and pervasive/locative media. He is the author of Digital Media Ecologies(Bloomsbury 2019).
Ian Shaw is an author, broadcaster and academic. He has worked in government science, the pharmaceuticals industry, and in several universities. He rose to dizzy administrative heights as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Science) at the University of Canterbury, until he defected to the world of real science in 2009. He is now Professor of Toxicology at the University of Canterbury.
Contributors: Sasha Adkins, Sven Bergmann, Stephanie Borrelle, Tridibesh Dey, Eva Giraud, Christina Gerhardt, John Holland, Deidre McKay, Laura McLauchlan, Mike Michael, Imogen Napper, Tina Ngata, Sabine Pahl, Padmapani L. Perez, Jennifer Provencher, Elyse Stanes, Johanne Tarpgaard, Richard Thompson, and Lei Xiaoyu.
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