ENGS40 Reading Waste 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period II Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
DP in English Language, Literature and Translation
Faculty of Communication Sciences

General description

This course investigates the meanings of waste through literary and other cultural texts. Waste, through its numerous variants (rubbish, trash, dirt, filth, excrement, junk, refuse, pollution, garbage, litter, debris, and so on), is an unavoidable part of culture that reflects basic human compulsions, denials, desires and failures. It remains a pressing ethical and environmental question. Furthermore, as the ubiquitous ‘other’ of value and material consumption, it is inevitably both tangible and metaphoric. In its openness to recycling and classification, it has a lot in common with literature itself. During the course, we will study a range of theoretical perspectives that help us interpret and contextualize different types of waste appearing in fictions and elsewhere. We will also consider how understandings of waste depend on time and place, and how they have changed with new kinds of environmental awareness. Assessment will be by class participation and an essay.

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Markku Salmela, Teacher responsible


10-Jan-2019 – 16-May-2019
Thu 10-Jan-2019 - 21-Feb-2019 weekly at 10-12, Pinni B 4118
Thu 7-Mar-2019 - 11-Apr-2019 weekly at 10-12, Pinni B 4118
Thu 25-Apr-2019 - 16-May-2019 weekly at 10-12, Pinni B 4118