New Books Network

Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019) is an ethnography of Palestinian life under occupation that takes waste infrastructures...

Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019) is an ethnography of Palestinian life under occupation that takes waste infrastructures as a starting point for exploring how Palestinians deal with toxicity and uncertainty, how governance happens under conditions of uncertainty, and how everyday goods circulate in and out of multiple moral economies and waste streams. In this episode of New Books in Anthropology, author Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins talks to host Jacob Doherty about the politics of garbage, sewage, second-hand goods, food waste, and landfills in the West Bank. Waste offers Stamatopoulou-Robbins a unique vantage point for understanding everyday life under occupation, the role of environmental discourse in the production and destruction of sovereignty, the ways nationalism is produced through infrastructure, and the modes of governance that emerge in the “phantom state.”

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins is an assistant professor of anthropology at Bard College.


Jacob Doherty is a lecturer in the Anthropology of Development at the University of Edinburgh.