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Externalities of Value: Wealth, Bounty, Waste

A lecture and masterclass series hosted by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis, organized by Jan Overwijk (University of Utrecht) and Daniël de Zeeuw (University of Amsterdam). Anyone interested to participate should send a registration email to

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 different ways in which they are related to the capitalist economy in myriad areas, like ecology, social reproduction, contemporary forms of (digital) work, art, and the commons.


In a total of six, each public lecture is accompanied by a masterclass for students, PhD-candidates and staff. Additionally, we will invite one specialist respondent to the speaker of the master class. Students are eligible to earn 2 ECs for their preparatory reading for, and participation in, the six seminars.


15 October - Lecture and masterclass on Externalities & Ecology by prof. Jason W. Moore

Combined lecture and masterclass: 18:00-21:00

Jason W. Moore is an environmental historian and historical geographer at Binghamton University, where he is professor of sociology. He is author or editor, most recently, of Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso, 2015), Capitalocene o Antropocene? (Ombre Corte, 2017), Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (PM Press, 2016), and, with Raj Patel, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things (University of California Press, 2017).


10 December - Lecture and masterclass by prof. Amanda Boetzkes (University of Guelph)

ASCA and NICA will host a combined lecture and masterclass by prof. Amanda Boetzkes, Friday 10 December 15:30-18:00, in OMHP C0.17. Part of the Externalities of Value series

Amanda Boetzkes is Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on the aesthetics and ethics of art as these intersect with ecology and visual technologies of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. She is the author of Plastic Capitalism: Contemporary Art and the Drive to Waste (MIT Press, 2019),  The Ethics of Earth Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), and co-editor of Heidegger and the Work of Art History (Ashgate, 2014).

18 Feb - Lecture and masterclass by Prof. Marina Vishmidt

Dr. Vishmidt joined the Centre for Culture Studies in 2016 and the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths in 2017, having taught primarily in European art academy contexts till then. Her research is mainly concerned with the nexus between art, value and labour, with an emphasis on the speculative relations that link processes of financialisation and subjectivation. Her work overall draws on disciplines including continental philosophy, aesthetics, political economy, feminist theory and black studies.

4 March - Lecture and masterclass by Prof. Darin Barney on Extractivism, energy autonomy and the politics of withdrawal

Prof. Barney is Grierson Chair in Communication Studies, Art History and Communication Studies, McGill. His current research, teaching and supervisory interests include: materialist approaches to media and communication; infrastructure; energy; environment; and insurgent political forms.

April - Lecture and masterclass by Dr. Amy De’Ath

Amy De’Ath is Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and Culture at King’s College London. Her research focuses on literature and culture’s capacity to render legible the abstractions of identity categories, and on how literary texts—especially poetry—provide another mode of theoretical inquiry: one in which formal strategies and stylistic techniques engender aesthetic experiences that can deepen our understandings of theoretical arguments and historical events.

May/June -  Lecture and masterclass by prof. Alberto Toscano

Alberto Toscano is Reader in Critical Theory at the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, where he co-directs the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought. He is Visiting Faculty at the Digital Democracy Institute, School of Communication, SFU. Alberto’s current research is divided into three main strands: a theoretical inquiry into contemporary authoritarian trends and their dis/analogies with their historical predecessors, culminating in the forthcoming book Late Fascism (Verso, 2021); the study of tragedy as a framework through which to understand political action and its discontents, from decolonisation to environmentalism; and the development of ‘real abstraction’ as a heuristic for the analysis contemporary capitalism, notably in its nexus with processes of racialisation.