CFP: Secondhand Cultures in Unsettled Times

Secondhand Cultures in Unsettled Times
Interdisciplinary Virtual Symposium, School of Journalism, Media & Culture, Cardiff University
15-16 June 2021
Submission deadline: 23 April 2021

Secondhand cultures and practices, from reselling sites to charity shops and thrift stores to waste picking, have expanded and transformed over recent decades, with profound social, political, and environmental implications. Despite vibrant and growing research into secondhand worlds, opportunities to share and discuss this research across interdisciplinary boundaries have been rare. Further, secondhand cultures have been unsettled by the global pandemic in ways that are not yet well understood. 

This virtual symposium invites scholars across disciplines to problematise and explore secondhand cultures in unsettled times. We invite contributions, not limited to this list, that critically discuss or explore:

  • Secondhand fashion cultures around the world 
  • Thrift ethics
  • Secondhand practices & sustainability, waste and environmental concerns
  • Research methods for secondhand cultures
  • Thrift media (podcasts, social media accounts, etc.)
  • Secondhand making, design and craft
  • Histories of secondhand cultures
  • Secondhand work, labour, and justice
  • Secondhand reselling and ecommerce
  • Decolonising, abolitionism, and anti-racism in secondhand cultures
  • Gender and secondhand cultures
  • Disability, age, workforce and secondhand spaces
  • Underrepresented, marginalised or invisible secondhand practices 
  • Teaching secondhand cultures
  • Secondhand futures – what’s next?

We invite contributions from any discipline, including but not limited to media and cultural studies; applied arts and design; geography and urban planning; history; gender studies; and the social sciences. 

Contributions can take the form of 250-word abstracts for papers, panel and/or workshop proposals, or other forms of collective activity. We also would enthusiastically welcome any of the following: exhibitions; informal presentations; digital guided walks; reflection workshops; object-centred workshops; methods lightning talks; audio tours; upcycling or design workshops. 

Practitioners working in these fields are welcome to apply; students, scholars of colour, disability justice scholars, LGBTQ scholars, indigenous, precarious, and working class scholars encouraged to apply. Stipends can be made available. 

Submissions due 23 April 2021     

Please send submissions to

Organisers: Dr Jennifer Lynn Ayres, New York University; Dr Triona Fitton, University of Kent, and Dr Alida Payson, Cardiff University


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