introduction: we have never been clean. towards an interdisciplinary discourse about cleaning and value
Isabel Bredenbröker, Christina Hanzen, Felix Kotzur
the last bath: cleaning practices and the production of ‘good death’ in an ewe town
This volume combines scholarly contributions on the relation between values and cleaning processes in different places, cultures and times. The core disciplines are archaeology and anthropology with interdisciplinary additions from sinology, classic philology, philosophy, sociology and fine arts. The individual contributions are the proceedings of a workshop organised by members of the DFG graduate school 1576 “Value and Equivalence” at Frankfurt University in June 2017. Among the contributors are researchers from Yale University, University of Cambridge, Brandeis University and Frankfurt University.
The editors do not intend to establish a theoretical concept of cleaning as a paradigm in academic discourse. Instead, our aim is to test the term’s potential for moral and practice-related implications from an interdisciplinary perspective. We understand the term cleaning as referring to a conglomerate of practices. These are rooted in social norms, morals and organisational structures. Due to the inclusive multiplicity of the term it functions as a soft concept. Aspects of materiality, social organisation, creation and conservation of value, devaluation as well as destruction come into play.