Plastic Time Workshop - University of St Andrews - June 2023


Plastic Time workshop

Date: June 13th & 14th 2023

Location: New Arts Building, University of St Andrews

Organisers: Dr Patrick O’Hare and Dr Richard Irvine (University of St Andrews)

Keynote Address: Dr Trisia Farrelly (Massey University)


In the run up to the first globally binding UN treaty on plastics, it can be argued that now more than ever is the ‘time’ of plastic, a moment of enormous production but also peak critique, a time when more government research and funding is being invested in potential solutions to plastic pollution than ever before. Yet how are plastics being framed in the present? What are the implications for polymer futures? And what might we learn from delving into plastic’s murky pasts?


For this interdisciplinary workshop, papers and artistic/practice-based contributions are invited that explore and engage critically with the following themes:

Plastic temporalities
The relationship between plastics and deep time
The notion of ‘single-use’ plastics
Intersections between plastic pollution and temporal markers
Contested stratigraphic markers (Plasticene, Anthropocene and Capitolocene)

Participants will be invited to present research papers/practice-based contributions at an in-person event in the collegiate atmosphere of the University of St Andrews. Further activities will include a plastic ‘beach comb’ and a collaborative workshop with Edinburgh-based plastics recyclers Doba Studio. Accommodation for speakers will be provided, as will a contribution towards travel costs.


To be considered, people send a 250-word abstract and a 100-word bio to Patrick O’Hare (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by December 20th. Applicants will be notified if their paper has been accepted early in the new year.


About our Keynote Speaker

Trisia Farrelly is Associate Professor in Anthropology at Massey University. She joined UNEP’s expert group in 2017 and sits on its Scientific Advisory Committee (Marine Litter and Microplastics). Trisia also sits on the Break Free From Plastic Asia Pacific Advisory Committee and Co-Convenes its Policy Working Group. She also provides treaty-related technical support to Pacific Island countries through the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. Her additional roles include Senior Editor of Cambridge Prisms: Plastics and Co-Director of Massey University’s Political Ecology Research Centre. Trisia co-founded the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council and the Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance. Her latest publications include “A binding global agreement to address the life cycle of plastics” published in Science; ‘Plastics pollution as waste colonialism in Te Moananui; and ‘The Strengths and Weaknesses of Pacific Islands Plastic Pollution Policy.’


Dr Patrick O’Hare (He/Him)
UKRI Future Leaders Fellow/ Senior Researcher
Co-director, Centre for Amerindian, Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CAS)

Department of Social Anthropology

University of St Andrews