Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Nineteenth Annual Hans Rausing Lecture

Waste, value and radioactive excess in Africa

Professor Gabrielle Hecht (University of Michigan)

Monday 19 May 2014 at 4.30pm
McCrum Lecture Theatre, Bene't Street
Public lecture – all welcome

Radioactive excess in African uranium mining offers a window into the global ontological instabilities of waste, value and the 'nuclear'. This talk examines instances of such excess and instability in Gabon, Niger and South Africa over the last half-century. Which radioactive debris counted as 'nuclear', and which counted as 'waste'? How and why did 'Africa' matter to these questions? In exploring these themes, Hecht probes the consequences of colliding time scales, spatial politics, and material inequalities for the production of colonial and postcolonial citizenships.