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5:45PM Energy Humanities Reading Group

November 28, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Much of the discussion that swirls around global warming, its causes and its consequences, cycles around eventually to the question of why people don’t “feel” facts. How is it that so much solid scientific research fails to convince so many that energy – how we make it, how we use it – has radically shaped every aspect of our contemporary world? Or as Boyer and Szeman have written “Economic growth, as well as expansion of the access to goods and services we have come to associate with the experience of modernity, is a direct consequence of the massive expansion of energy use by human communities, especially (though not only) in the global North; the capacities and freedoms that are connected to the modern, to the opening up of leisure time to expectations of almost unfettered mobility, are similarly a consequence of a world awash in the kilocalories generated primarily by fossil fuels.” (Boyer & Szeman, 2017).

In this reading course, we will read from the fantastic wealth of contemporary work on energy in the humanities (and occasional even the social sciences). Some works treat the question of how energy allows for certain literatures, imaginaries, or cultural systems to arise; others look to explicitly literary, imaginative and culture work on energy systems and sources; and yet others consider the problems of anthropogenic climate change playfully—sidestepping science as the only way to communicate things scientific. Readings will include: new essays, works of fiction (including selections from the burgeoning world of climate fiction), TV and film productions, classic works, and full monographs. Reading will be limited to 30 pages per meeting. Hard scientists and engineers are welcome.

Please e-mail gretchen.bakke@mcgill.ca for copies of the readings.

Date:Tuesday Nov 28  Time: 5:45-7:15PM

Location: IPLAI, 3610 McTavish, 2nd floor


November 28, 2017
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


3610 McTavish, 2nd floor
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1Y2 Canada
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