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Simone M. Müller
Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, University of Munich
The DFG Emmy-Noether Research Group Hazardous Travels. Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy investigates structures and dynamics of international hazardous waste trade since the 1970s. The team, consisting of three PhDs and one head of research, works with an asymmetrical comparison of ‘ghost acres’ case studies from North America, Germany, Ecuador, and India. It seeks to understand how this system could seemingly be built simultaneously on structures of “voluntary exchange” of toxic materiality and “garbage imperialism.” The project works with two concepts identified as fundamental to the running of the global waste economy post-1970s: (1) hazardous waste mobility and (2) emergence of “ghost acres” in the aftermath of the environmental turn. Applying a global perspective, economic thinking, and constructivist approaches informed from the cultural turn, the project postulates the existence of regional, national, and transnational toxic waste regimes at the core of the global waste economy after industrial countries’ 1970s environmental turn.
|Interests:||American History / Studies
Atlantic History / Studies
British History / Studies
Business History / Studies
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies
Economic History / Studies
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology
Journalism and Media Studies
Maritime History / Studies
Native American History / Studies
World History / Studies
Simone M. Müller is principal investigator of the Emmy Noether Research Group Hazardous Travels: Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy, which runs starting September 2016 for five years at the RCC. Prior to this, she has been an assistant professor of North American History at Albert Ludwig's University of Freiburg, a research fellow at the Smithsonian Institutions, as well as at the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. She received her PhD in 2012 from Freie Universität Berlin with a study on the social and cultural constructions of global telegraph networks during the first age of globalization, published as Wiring the World: The Social and Cultural Creation of Global Telegraph Networks in 2016 with Columbia University Press. Other publications include a special issue together with Heidi J.S. Tworek on communicating global capitalism with the Journal of Global History (2015) as well as a special issue on Imagined Use as an analytical category of analysis for the history of science in technology with History and Technology (2016), and a special issue together with Peter Itzen on Risk and the Social History of the Twentieth Century (Historical Social Research 2016).
In 2016, she was elected Junior Fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (ZIF) at the University of Bielefeld. In 2015, she received the Maria Gräfin von Linden Preis for her research on the global waste economy. Her research focuses on global history, economic history, the history of science and technology, media studies, urban history, and environmental history. Her current research project, Contamination Guaranteed: America’s Hazardous Waste in Global Perspective, looks at the discourses and practices of hazardous waste management in the United States from the 1960s to the 1990s.