30 de noviembre de 2015

Seeking panelist: Waste/Recycling, WWII: A Transnational Perspective on Waste Flows in Times of Total War & Occupation



Waste and Recycling during WWII: A Transnational Perspective on Waste Flows in Times of Total War and Occupation

We are seeking a third (or forth) panelist for a session on “Waste and Recycling during WWII” at the SHOT conference (Singapore, 22-26 June 2016; deadline: Dec. 15). We aim to investigate different national efforts during WWII to turn waste into assets and war resources. In particular, we are seeking contributions on Asian regions, on the US American case, or on a European occupied economy. So far, we have two papers: one on wartime metal collections in Japan and in annexed regions (Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan) (Chad Denton) and the other on the Nazi "Recycling Regime" with a focus on paper, bones, and textiles (Heike Weber).

The panel aims towards a transnational perspective on waste flows and their re-ordering in warring as well as occupied economies . With our focus on war and recycling, we hope to bring together insights from the historical sub-disciplines of business history, environmental history, the history of technology and the history of war and society. Waste recycling was not only a means to “feed” war economies. In most warring nations, collecting waste such as metal scrap, paper, or bones for recycling purposes turned into a means to mobilize the home front: saving and collecting scraps and channeling them into recycling facilities became a national duty. Furthermore, the hegemonic expansion and exploitation strategies of both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan included collecting and reusing waste in those regions brought under control – a dimension hardly studied so far. 

Questions to be raised include:

In what ways are European and Asian occupied economies similar, different or specific and unique in respect to recycling?

In what ways differs, for example, the American, British or Swiss cases of war-time recycling from the aggressors’ strategies?

Which materials were favored, by whom, and for what reasons?

What are the links between waste recycling, forced labor, and marginalized or persecuted social groups (Koreans in the Japanese empire, or European Jews)?

What impact did wartime recycling have on later recycling technologies and on patterns of resource use?


If you are interested in participating in the panel, please contact Heike at hweber@uni-wuppertal.de with a short description of your potential contribution (latest by the 5th of Dec.) so that we can hand in the full proposal by Mid-December.