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Awarded Joint Seed Grants

In 2019 CUS, together with the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity (ACHI), launched a Joint Seed Grant that aims to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue between urban scholars in the humanities and in the social sciences, and to stimulate original research in the field of Urban Studies. Find below a list of the awarded Joint Seed Grants by the Centre for Urban Studies and the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage.

Turning Garbage into Gold: the Journey of Food Waste and their Economy of Worth in Urban Space and Platforms

Awarded to Ying-Tzu Lin, Elisa Fiore, Letizia Chiappini, Willem Boterman, Tim Verlaan and Peter van Dam

In this pilot research, scholars from CUS and ACHI will carry out a project on food waste and production of urban space. In particular, processes of decommodification and recommodification of comestibles taking place and interacting with urban space are analysed. How does food devaluation - i.e. its decommodification - almost paradoxically becomes the precondition for the circulation and revaluation of devalued surplus? This cycle of commodification, de-commodification and –when waste becomes reused- sometimes re-commodification, doesn’t take place in a vacuum. There are geographies of this cycle that are part and parcel of the landscape of food and food waste. By tracing and mapping out where and how the de-commodification of food happens, and even given new value of waste, the landscape where non/anti/de-commodification takes place in the city can be sketched out. Taking food waste and its journey of devaluation and revaluation as a lens, academic debates and broader societal implications on the cultural history of food and food waste, as well as the ethics of food consumption, and the role that food and food waste play in engaging urban commons, can be opened up.


Urban Infrastructures: An Interdisciplinary Playshop

Awarded to Rivke Jaffe, Kasia Mika and Janna Coomans

In recent years, social sciences such as geography and anthropology have witnessed an “infrastructural turn”, focusing on roads, electricity networks, sewage systems and so on to understand how these sociotechnical systems distribute people, resources and risks across space. Meanwhile, research in the humanities - specifically history and cultural studies - has similarly begun to study the uses and meanings of such architectures of circulation, engaging with infrastructure as an important lens for understanding urban life across different historical and cultural contexts. This “playshop” aims to generate an interdisciplinary conversation within the UvA between such scholars working on urban infrastructures who oftentimes work in parallel scholarly and disciplinary spaces.