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Externalities of Value: Wealth, Bounty, Waste

ASCA/NICA 2021-2022 | A lecture and masterclass series organized by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis | Organized by Daniel de Zeeuw and Jan Overwijk

Capitalism is a system that requires the continuous valorisation of an “outside”, or what economists call “externalities”. Rather than being the mark of “market failure”, the production and exploitation of these externalities are integral elements in the governing logic of capitalist reproduction. In theorising the capitalist economy, we thus need an outward looking gaze that allows us to understand how external forms of wealth and bounty are funneled into the official capitalist sphere of value-production, and then exorcised again as value-less “waste”. This means that, as Yann Moulier Boutang writes, ‘political economy has no choice but to deal with this relation it has to its own outside’. This lecture series confronts this outside, or rather its various outsides, and the strange ways in which they are related to the capitalist economy in myriad areas, like ecology, social reproduction, contemporary forms of work, art and the commons.


In a total of six, each public lecture is accompanied by a master class for students, PhD-candidates and staff. Additionally, we will invite one specialist respondent to the speaker of the master class. Students are eligible for earning 1 EC for their participation in the master class.