Call for Papers: Energy and the Left, 2019 Workshop at NYU

Keynote Address by Robert Vitalis: 30 March 2019

Workshop Date: 31 March 2019

Extended Deadline for Abstracts: 15 December 2018

Location: NYU, Washington Square campus

Organizers: Lola Jusidman ([email protected]), Zack Cuyler ([email protected])

What is the relationship between energy transitions and struggles for emancipation, democracy, decolonization, and redistribution? Recent events–such as efforts to thwart the DAPL and Kinder Morgan pipelines, the anti-fracking movement, the battle for Puerto Rico’s energy future in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and the recent proliferation of radical energy policy visions on the left–have brought these questions to the forefront. But such avenues of inquiry and arenas of struggle have a much longer history. Contemporary approaches to energy and climate politics stand in contrast to earlier business histories, technocratic studies of energy transitions, or orientalist studies of ‘petro-dictatorships.’ New work has focused on the relationship between social struggles–for decolonization, for citizenship rights, for working-class power–and shifts in how energy is created, distributed, used, and imagined. Scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds are now fruitfully bringing together approaches of the environmental humanities, critical studies of race and gender, labor history, science and technology studies, and political economy. Recent works that have energized this area of study include Democracy’s Infrastructure by Antina von Schnitzler, The Ecology of Oil by Myrna Santiago, Being Nuclear by Gabrielle Hecht, Carbon Democracy by Timothy Mitchell, and Fossil Capital by Andreas Malm.

This will be the third workshop held on the broad theme of “Energy and the Left.” Like the first and second workshops held in 2017 and 2018, it will be international and interdisciplinary, and does not take a rigid line on what constitutes the “Left.” On the night before the workshop, Robert Vitalis will be giving a keynote address on his forthcoming book project, Oilcraft. We expect submissions from sociology, literature, anthropology, and history, but we would welcome work from across the arts and sciences. We invite work that concerns intersections of energy and climate issues with questions of race, class, gender, and colonialism. We hope that the group of participants at the workshop will represent all stages of an academic career, from post-grads to tenured professors. We especially encourage scholars of color, scholars who are women, queer, trans, and/or nonbinary, indigenous scholars, scholars with working class backgrounds, and those representing other underrepresented identities to submit. The format of the workshop is as follows: only a small group of scholars will be invited, but they will be expected to read everyone’s papers, as well as serve as a designated discussant for one of their peers. The event will take place over the span of one to two days. The event space will be wheelchair-accessible, and we welcome your requests for accommodations and inquiries about accessibility.

The deadline for the submissions will be 30 November 2018. We will select participants soon after. Papers between five thousand and ten thousand words are to be circulated amongst the group on March 1. Please tell us if you’ll need a subsidy for travel and lodgings. To limit the workshop’s emissions intensity, we encourage ground travel and offer more distant participants the option to teleconference if they prefer to avoid air travel. Send a short CV and three hundred word abstract to Lola and Zack ([email protected], and [email protected]) with the subject line: ‘Energy and the Left’.

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