ENERGY HUMANITIES

We generate new ways of thinking about energy and culture.

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ENERGY HUMANITIES

A new way to understand energy and society.

ENERGY & CULTURE

Energy shapes culture. How we think, play, dream, and live is indebted to our use of fossil fuels.

HUMANITIES APPROACH

We need new ways of thinking about energy. Art, philosophy, literature, and history can help us see our future and the challenges we face in a new light

SOCIAL TRANSITION

Becoming sustainable requires more than replacing combustion engines with batteries. It means living together differently.

BEYOND TECHNO-UTOPIANISM

Solar panels, electric cars, and plastic-eating microbes? Let’s move beyond technocentric solutions to consider our social and political options.

NEWS & ARTICLES

Mark Simpson, Imre Szeman, and Caleb Wellum
Welcome to Energy Humanities

Developed by the Transitions in Energy, Culture, and Society (TECS) project and the Petrocultures Research Group, energy humanities features commentary on current developments in energy and the environment, announcements and news items, and video interviews with influential and emerging voices on energy & society. This site gathers some of the most exciting and important insights humanities researchers provide about the social nature of our environmental crises.

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May 3, 2022
Feature: The Carbon Convoy: The Climate Emergency Fueling the Far Right’s Big Rigs
Tanner Mirrlees

In late January 2022, hundreds of big rigs bannered with Canadian flags rolled across the nation’s highways in “The Freedom Convoy,” a movement of purportedly ordinary truckers opposed to COVID-19 mandates. Throughout the whole ordeal, however, surprisingly little was said in the news media about the convoy’s energy politics. In this feature essay, Tanner Mirrlees, an Associate Professor in Communication and Digital Media Studies at Ontario Tech University, peels back the layers of energy politics at the heart of the convoy, revealing its alignment with carbon elites.

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April 11, 2022
The Mitchell Effect
Troy Vettese

In the final installment in our series on the impact of Timothy Mitchell's "Carbon Democracy," historian Troy Vettese explores Mitchell's unique scholarly method. Vettese argues that the power and originality of Mitchell's books, including "Carbon Democracy," stems from his adoption of approaches from postcolonial studies and Actor Network Theory (ANT). Mitchell has avoided ANT’s tendency to conservatism and has instead practised a radical critique of the economic, environmental, and political structures that he studies.

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April 7, 2022
Maintaining the Rule of Experts? Interrogating the Contradictions of Energy
Ayesha Vemuri

In the third installment in our series on the impact of Timothy Mitchell's "Carbon Democracy," communication studies researcher Ayesha Vemuri explores Mitchell's larger oeuvre to argue that mainstream responses to address the climate crisis can be understood as extensions of what he calls “the rule of experts.” By maintaining a global hegemony of elite expertise over that of local and indigenous knowledges, efforts to address the ecological crisis uphold structures of power that undergird the ecological crisis. If we want to develop just responses to climate change, we will need a new approach to expertise.

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videos & Interviews

In Conversation: Kazim Ali and Robert Boschman

In their astonishing memoirs, published only weeks apart, Kazim Ali and Robert Boschman explore how their personal and family stories overlap with histories of violence, colonialism, indigenous dispossession, and energy development in Western Canada.

What is the Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative?

Rebecca Byrnes, Deputy Director of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, sits down with Imre Szeman to discuss climate change, the initiative's anti-nuclear roots, and how a fossil fuel treaty could be a driver of international change.

Annamie Paul on Canada's role in the fight against climate change

EH editors Imre Szeman and Caleb Wellum speak with Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, about Canada's international role in the fight against climate change.

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