Proposed Edited Book in a new Routledge series: Antinomies: Innovations in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Creative Arts (series edited by A

Reuse and repurposing have always been part of our engagement with objects and spaces. Global second-hand and antique markets, international trades in various commodities and waste products, from textiles and clothing to dumped goods and food, all retell a version of this story, within the broader, social, material and cultural narratives that are not fixed in place and time, or by preconceptions of value.

The social and cultural impact of reuse or repurposing upon consumption practices in everyday life is particularly important to reconsider in an age of social and technological acceleration, and an increasingly unsustainable expansion of global consumerism. Reuse may bring into focus the accelerated and environmentally destructive pace of everyday consumption, its technological mediation and distance from production. It may reveal an attempt to link consumption practices more directly to production, and re-establish a custodial relationship between owner and object of use. It may be a means of protesting against, and subverting the dominance of a ‘waste-ready’ accelerated newness in today’s consumerism. And it may also be a means of establishing more durable, stable and culturally specific relationships and more stable sense of identity at a time of continuous change.
Inviting innovative essays from many disciplines, including design, anthropology, sociology and cultural studies, this edited collection aims to investigate the social and cultural meanings of reuse and repurposing across cultures and disciplines. We will invite potential contributors to consider reuse and repurposing as a mode of response to accelerated global change, as an act of creation and hybrid production, a form of consumption, a response to social or economic conditions, a means of historically engaged place-making, and of personal and collective identity construction.
Every proposal will be considered on its own merits, but we are inviting potential contributors to especially consider the following typical themes:
1.       Everyday Needs and Reuse: Food, water, shelter, work, education, technology and healthcare are all unequally distributed in the global economy.
2.       Repair, Obsolescence and Reuse: Technological systems and devices are increasingly short-lived and quickly upgraded, because of ‘built in’ obsolescence or marketing systems that encourage early upgrading.
3.       Innovating with Waste: Reuse and repurposing are now creative design practices responding to growing collections of things that are no longer valued.
4.       The Aesthetics and Meaning of Reuse: Reuse and repurposing are a hybrid form of creation, that rejects the future-oriented, accelerated ‘new’ and ‘complete’ object, space or image favoured by both neo-modernist design and contemporary consumerism.

Abstract Submissions should be no more than 400 words (max), and should be submitted to the Editors by October 25th, 2014.  Abstracts will be peer reviewed and all submissions will receive a written response from the editors by November 7th, 2014. Authors of accepted abstracts will then be invited to submit a full paper by January 15th, 2015. All essays submitted will be double-blind peer reviewed, and authors will be contacted by early March 2015 with a response from the editors.

Please submit your abstract with a short 200 word author bio to:
Email: Robert.Crocker at  and copy to: Keri.Chiveralls at
Dr Robert Crocker, D.Phil (oxon)
Acting Director, Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour
School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia,
GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia, 5001, Australia
Phone 08-83020206
ZWSA Research Centre :
Staff homepage:

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