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Energy Humanities

, 616 pages

6 color photos, 3 halftones, 7 line drawings

February 2017



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Energy Humanities

An Anthology

Table of Contents

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

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. 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.

"A unique, wide-ranging collection edited by leading figures in the cross-disciplinary field of energy humanities. The contributions to this volume individually and collectively demonstrate the importance of understanding how the narratives surrounding energy shape policies as well as perceptions. Energy Humanities will help everyone from students to established scholars, concerned citizens, and policymakers see the problems associated with energy in a new way—potentially facilitating creative solutions."

"Individually and collectively, the contributors to this unique volume attest to the consensus gathering across disciplinary fields that we can only solve our current energy and environmental dilemmas by granting humanities research a significant role in the conversation. The editors have selected significant works featuring concepts and models from a broad range of disciplines which promise to inspire new ways of thinking rather than simply codify received understandings. These essays are uniquely suited to supply professors with the pedagogical resources—teaching tools, influential texts, research questions, protocols of reading, and methodological approaches—needed to frame and organize energy humanities courses."

"An excellent anthology that includes some of the best work in the field. Perfect for courses in energy humanities, ecocriticism, or environmental studies."

"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."

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