ABOUT ME

I am a sociologist and art historian with extensive research experience on issues to do with sustainability, and I draw on qualitative methods to intervene in theoretical debates on valuation, nature-culture boundaries, and gender inequalities. My work is placed at the nexus of Pragmatic Sociology and Science and Technology Studies (STS).

My research over the last few years has been driven by the desire to contribute to a better empirical and theoretical understanding of the key emerging order of worth in the Anthropocene: sustainability. I draw my inspiration from pragmatic sociology. The way pragmatic sociology has informed STS inspires me to neither take the widely accepted nature-culture divide for granted, nor critique its existence. Instead, I explore changing nature-culture boundaries empirically in situations where sustainability is at stake.

Currently, I work at the Anthropology department at the University of Amsterdam where I explore waste and how it is valued in different settings such as households, cities, and markets. Take as an example organic waste. In practice, organic waste is not without value but valued, and thereby transformed, in diverse ways: as fertiliser in households, as food for rats and birds in cities, or as a commodity in the circular economy. As waste is valued differently in different situations, the humans involved engage in different ways with soils, animals, and microbes. Simultaneously, sustainability, as an order of worth-in-the-making, takes diverse shapes, and gives rise to new, more or less equal, relations between humans and nonhumans, and among humans.

​Previously, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh. There, I analysed, synthesised and harmonised links between science and technology studies, feminist ethics and studies on sustainable consumption to understand and reclaim gender normativities and inequalities in zero waste living. I have also been a postdoctoral researcher at the Environmental Policy Group at Wageningen University (the Netherlands, 2016 - 2019). There, I worked on two research projects to do with market making in energy transitions. Furthermore I have worked as a postdoc at the Centre on Research on Environmental and Social Change at the University of Antwerp (Belgium, 2015), and I have been a visiting fellow at the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt University Berlin (Germany, 2013), the DEMAND Centre at Lancaster University  (UK, 2017) and the Sociology department at the University of Edinburgh (UK, 2018).

I received my PhD-education at the Amsterdam School of Social Science Research (AISSR) of the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands, 2015). My dissertation connects an ethnography of everyday life in a neighbourhood to literature about the role of affects in the construction of citizenship. It develops an innovative perspective on ‘affective citizenship’ and its construction through policy mediation work.

I am a member of the editorial board of the Dutch open access journal Tijdschrift Sociologie.

I organise (with Else Vogel) the bimonthly multispecies reading group, contact me if you would like to participate.

Email me at: mandy.de.wilde@uva.nl

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