Dissertation

My dissertation, with the working title Disposing of Risk: The governance of recalled food and the (un)making of waste, explores two primary themes:

(1) Biopolitics and biosecurity in the Anthropocene. In exploring the relationship of biopolitics and Anthropocene, I argue that the supposed Anthropocene epoch is an epoch of uncertainty and absence of control, rather than one in which humans wrest control of the planet from the inhuman we have only recently come to acknowledged. “Things” have always played an integral part in biopolitics for Foucault. This (not entirely) implicit emphasis on the nonhuman, combined with the reliance of biopolitics on probability and anticipation of the future, I have argued, make biopolitics particularly salient as both an empirical and theoretical construct in the Anthropocene.

(2) Governing recalled food and food safety. Recalled food constitutes a flow of organic material deemed as dangerous and a potential waste. Drawing on the concept of “environmental flows” (e.g., Mol and Spaargaren 2006) I consider how food safety is governed and the role that the “food recall” plays in food safety. In other words, the social and cultural aspects that are generative of the flow of rejected food. I then trace the flow of this material as it is made waste, recovered, or diverted from traditional sites of wasting.

Learning PHP and SQL

When I can’t sleep I’m learning PHP and mySQL. I am very interested in web and software development, and PHP and SQL seem like reasonable places to get my foot in this door as a hobby. Additionally, as someone pursuing a career in research, managing data of all kinds is imperative and the idea of homegrown methods for managing data is compelling.

CSS and HTML

As part of learning PHP and SQL I spent no small amount of time on HTML and CSS. Having now obtained an intermediate level of competence in these domains I am regularly trying out small front-end web exercises to practice and hone my use of these languages. One such example is the hand-coded replication of my original Squarespace blog which you can see at http://transition.scottlougheed.com (mobile and desktop versions).