What Can The Humanities Contribute to the Global Energy Transition?
Monday, October 18, 2021 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
Ahmadieh Family Grand Hall (Room 330), Gross Hall
Climate catastrophe-already brutally present in the form of now-annual disastrous hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires- heightens the urgency of moving away from planet-warming fossil fuels. Tackling climate change will require technical expertise, of course, but new ways of living will be needed as well. How can the humanities inform our understanding of the climate crisis and our efforts to combat it?
Bringing together leading scholars in the emerging field of "energy humanities," this panel discussion will explore how critical, interdisciplinary perspectives drawn from humanistic inquiry can help map our transition away from fossil fuels and towards new forms of social and cultural life.
- Dr. Matthew T. Huber is an associate professor of geography and the environment at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is the author of Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital (2013), a book published by the University of Minnesota Press exploring the everyday practices of oil consumption in American culture. His current book project, Climate Change as Class War, is under contract with Verso Books and will be published next year.
- Dr. Imre Szeman, a Duke University alumnus (Ph.D. ‘98), serves as university research chair and professor of communication arts at the University of Waterloo. He is the author of numerous books, most recently On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture, and Energy (2019), a collection of essays published by West Virginia University exploring the many ways people living in the twenty-first century are shaped by fossil fuels. The Climate Critic in the Green Party of Canada’s Shadow Cabinet, he is also currently running for MP in Kelowna – Lake County.
- Dr. Jennifer A. Wenzel, a jointly appointed faculty member at Columbia, serves as an associate professor at Columbia’s Department of English and Comparative Literature as well as its Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. Her most recent book is The Disposition of Nature: Environmental Crisis and World Literature (2019), an interdisciplinary investigation published by Fordham University Press into the role of the literary to environmental thought and practice. Her current book project is titled “The Fossil-Fueled Imagination: How (and Why) to Read for Energy.”
- (Moderator) Dr. Ranjana Khanna directs the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University, where she also serves as professor of English, literature, and women’s studies. She is a literary critic and theorist recognized for her interdisciplinary, feminist, and internationalist contributions to the fields of post-colonial studies, feminist theory, literature, and political philosophy. Khanna is the author of Algeria Cuts: Women and Representation, 1830-Present (2007) and Dark Continents: Psychoanalysis and Colonialism (2003).
All Duke students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend this event, which is organized by the Energy Humanities Working Group in partnership with the Duke University Energy Initiative, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI).
Panelists will take part virtually, while moderator Dr. Ranjana Khanna (director of FHI) will be on-site at the event. Plenty of time will be reserved for the audience to take part in the discussion.
Boxed lunches will be available for participants at the close of the event.
Questions? Contact Dr. Tom Cinq-Mars (email@example.com).