Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic

This edited collection explores the material politics of plastics. From food punnets to credit cards, plastic facilitates every part of our daily lives. It has become central to processes of contemporary socio-material living. Universalised and abstracted, it is often treated as the passive object of political deliberations, or a problematic material demanding human management. But in what ways might a ‘politics of plastics’ deal with both its specific manifestation in particular artefacts and events, and its complex dispersed heterogeneity?

Accumulation explores the vitality and complexity of plastic. This interdisciplinary collection focuses on how the presence and recalcitrance of plastic reveal the relational exchanges across human and synthetic materialities. It captures multiplicity by engaging with the processual materialities or plasticity of plastic. Through a series of themed essays on plastic materialities, plastic economies, plastic bodies and new articulations of plastic, the editors and chapter authors examine specific aspects of plastic in action. How are multiple plastic realities enacted? What are their effects?

This collection follows on from a public seminar held at Goldsmiths, University of London on 21 June 2011, with support from the Centre for Invention and Social Process (CSISP) and the the Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies (CCCS), University of Queensland.

Accumulation is co-edited with Gay Hawkins and Mike Michael and published through the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) “Culture, Economy and the Social” book series (London: Routledge, 2013).