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Energy Humanities

An Anthology

edited by Imre Szeman and Dominic Boyer

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How can humanities scholars help us respond to growing concerns about climate change and fossil fuels?

Energy humanities is a field of scholarship that, like medical and digital humanities before it, aims to overcome traditional boundaries between the disciplines and between academic and applied research. Responding to growing public concern about anthropogenic climate change and the unsustainability of the fuels we use to power our modern society, energy humanists highlight the essential contribution that humanistic insights and methods can make to areas of analysis once thought best left to…

How can humanities scholars help us respond to growing concerns about climate change and fossil fuels?

Energy humanities is a field of scholarship that, like medical and digital humanities before it, aims to overcome traditional boundaries between the disciplines and between academic and applied research. Responding to growing public concern about anthropogenic climate change and the unsustainability of the fuels we use to power our modern society, energy humanists highlight the essential contribution that humanistic insights and methods can make to areas of analysis once thought best left to the natural sciences.

In this groundbreaking anthology, Imre Szeman and Dominic Boyer have brought together a carefully curated selection of the best and most influential work in energy humanities. Arguing that today’s energy and environmental dilemmas are fundamentally problems of ethics, habits, imagination, values, institutions, belief, and power—all traditional areas of expertise of the humanities and humanistic social sciences—the essays and other pieces featured here demonstrate the scale and complexity of the issues the world faces. Their authors offer compelling possibilities for finding our way beyond our current energy dependencies toward a sustainable future.

Contributors include: Margaret Atwood, Paolo Bacigalupi, Lesley Battler, Ursula Biemann, Dominic Boyer, Italo Calvino, Warren Cariou, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Una Chaudhuri, Claire Colebrook, Stephen Collis, Erik M. Conway, Amy De’Ath, Adam Dickinson, Fritz Ertl, Pope Francis, Amitav Ghosh, Gökçe Günel, Gabrielle Hecht, Cymene Howe, Dale Jamieson, Julia Kasdorf, Oliver Kellhammer, Stephanie LeMenager, Barry Lord, Graeme Macdonald, Joseph Masco, John McGrath, Martin McQuillan, Timothy Mitchell, Timothy Morton, Jean-François Mouhot, Abdul Rahman Munif, Judy Natal, Reza Negarestani, Pablo Neruda, David Nye, Naomi Oreskes, Andrew Pendakis, Karen Pinkus, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Hermann Scheer, Roy Scranton, Allan Stoekl, Imre Szeman, Laura Watts, Michael Watts, Jennifer Wenzel, Sheena Wilson, Patricia Yaeger, and Marina Zurkow

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Energy Humanities

edited by Imre Szeman and Dominic Boyer

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Reviews

Reviews

Energy Humanities is an ambitious and stimulating collection that will assist the reader in understanding the importance of explicitly engaging with energy across the arts, humanities and social sciences. It is equally suited for undergraduate students and advanced academics who are interested in exploring the fecundity of interdisciplinary discussion and creative critique.

While the collection serves scholars in offering an organization of a specific context that is still emerging, and will most likely keep growing in importance in the 21st century, this publication will most definitely prove useful as a way to introduce students to the questions of energy as a specific subfield of the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Explore[s] ways of thinking and talking about the environment more creatively, aiming to circumvent our denial and despair, so that we may learn how to dwell on the things that are disappearing, and to carry on living in the world they leave behind.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
616
ISBN
9781421421896
Illustration Description
6 color photos, 3 halftones, 7 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Imre Szeman and Dominic Boyer, "On the Energy Humanities"

Opening Image Set: Judy Natal 

Amy De'Ath, "Institutional Critique"

Part I Energy and Modernity: Histories and

Acknowledgements

Introduction: Imre Szeman and Dominic Boyer, "On the Energy Humanities"

Opening Image Set: Judy Natal 

Amy De'Ath, "Institutional Critique"

Part I Energy and Modernity: Histories and Futures
Section Intro
1. Dipesh Chakrabarty, "The Climate of History: Four Theses"
2. Imre Szeman, "System Failure: Oil, Futurity, and the Anticipation of Disaster"
3. David Nye, "The Great White Way"
4. Pablo Neruda, "Standard Oil Co."
5. Italo Calvino, "The Petrol Pump"
6. Stephen Collis, "Reading Wordsworth in the Tar Sands"
7. Hermann Scheer, "The Visible Hand of the Sun."
8. Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, "The Frenzy of Fossil Fuels"
9. Paolo Bacigalupi, excerpt from The Windup Girl
10. Margaret Atwood, "It's Not Climate Change, It's Everything Change"

Part II Energy, Power and Politics
Section Intro
11. Timothy Mitchell, "Carbon Democracy" 
12. Dominic Boyer, "Energopower: An Introduction"
13. Jean-Francois Mouhot, "Past Connections and Present Similarities in Slave Ownership and Fossil Fuel Usage"
14. Michael Watts, "Imperial Oil: The Anatomy of a Nigerian Oil Insurgency"
15. John McGrath, excerpt from The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil
16. Gabrielle Hecht, "Nuclear Ontologies"
17. Gökçe Günel, "A Dark Art: Field Notes on Carbon Capture and Storage Policy Negotiations at COP 17"
18. Sheena Wilson, "Gendering Oil: Tracing Western Petrosexual Relations"
19. Cymene Howe, "Anthropocenic Ecoauthority: The Winds of Oaxaca."
20. Pope Francis, "Global Inequality"
21. Ken Saro-Wiwa, "Night Ride"

Part III Energy in Philosophy: Ethics, Politics, and Being
Section Intro
22. Allan Stoekl, "Bataille's Ethics"
23. Joseph Masco, "Atomic Health, Or How The Bomb Altered American Notions of Death"
24. Laura Watts, "The Draukie's Tale"
25. Timothy Morton, "A Quake in Being"
26. Martin McQuillan, "Notes Toward a Post-Carbon Philosophy"
27. Roy Scranton, "Learning to Die in the Anthropocene"
28. Dale Jamieson, "Ethics for the Anthropocene"
29. Claire Colebrook, "We Have Always Been Post-Anthropocene"
30. Karen Pinkus, excerpt from Fuel
31. Reza Negarastani, excerpt from Cyclonopedia.

Part IV The Aesthetics of Petrocultures
Section Intro
32. Amitav Ghosh. "Petrofiction: The Oil Encounter and the Novel."
33. Patricia Yaeger, "Literature in the Ages of Wood"
34. AbdulRahman Munif, Excerpt from Cities of Salt 
35. Leslie Battler, poems from Endangered Hydrocarbons
36. Julia Kasdorf, poems from Shale Play
37. Stephanie LeMenager, "Petro-Melancholia: The BP Blowout and the Arts of Grief"
38. Jennifer Wenzel, "Petro-Magic-Realism: Toward a Political Ecology of Nigerian Literature."
39. Ursula Biemann and Andrew Pendakis, "This is Not a Pipeline: On the Politico-Aesthetics of Oil"
40. Adam Dickinson, excerpt from The Polymers
41. Warren Cariou, "An Athabasca Story"
42. Barry Lord, "The Culture of Stewardship"
43. Graeme MacDonald, "The Resources of Culture."
 
Closing Image Set: Marina Zurkow


References

Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Imre Szeman, Ph.D.

Imre Szeman holds the Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta and is the cofounder of the Petrocultures Research Group. He is the coauthor of After Oil and the coeditor of The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism.
Featured Contributor

Dominic Boyer

Dominic Boyer is a professor of anthropology at Rice University and the founding director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences. He is the coauthor of Theory Can Be More than It Used to Be: Learning Anthropology’s Method in a Time of Transition.