Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cultures of Energy Conference Program

Cultures of Energy 2nd Annual Spring Research Symposium
Rice University, Houston TX, April 19th-21st

Final Program


Friday, April 19th

Keynote panel, Farnsworth Pavilion, Rice Memorial Center, 4p-6p

Welcome by Caroline Levander, Vice-Provost for Interdisciplinary Initiatives, Rice U

Welcome by Vicki Colvin, Vice-Provost for Research, Rice U

Introduction by Dominic Boyer, Rice U

Keynote talk by Constance Penley, U California – Santa Barbara

Title: “The Environmental Media Initiative: Transforming Communication and Collaboration among the Sciences, Humanities, Industry and the Public”

Reception to follow

Dinner: 730p, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, 3701 Travis St

Saturday, April 20th

All panels meet in the Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library, Rice U

A light breakfast will be available from 830a on

Panel A (9a-11a): Histories of fuel, labor and power
Chair: Kairn Klieman, U Houston
Jean-François Mouhot, Georgetown U, “Fossil fuels, slavery and climate change: past & present similarities and interconnections between slavery and fossil fuel use.”
Thomas D. Finger, U Virginia, “Harvesting Power: Food Energy, Human Labor, and the Industrial Revolution.”
Peter Shulman, Case Western Reserve, “Engineering Economy: Steam Power and the Politics of Coal in the United States Before Thermodynamics.”

Panel B (1115a-1245p): Ecological imaginations, deep and dark
Chair: Jeff Kripal, Rice U
David Haberman, Indiana U, “The Energy of Cultures.”
Tim Morton, Rice U, “Dark Ecology”

Lunch break 1245p-2p (lunch provided for all participants and attendees)
During the break, there will be poster presentations by the following Rice undergraduate students involved in the Cultures of Energy program: Jay Becton, Emily Hughes, Ginny Johnson, Miles Kruppa, Melissa Teng, Kaylee Yocum

Panel C (2p-4p): Communities facing energic and environmental transformation
Chair: Elizabeth Long, Rice U
Richard Hirsh, Virginia Tech, “The Stormy Reception of Wind Turbines: Values, History, and the Poorly Articulated Reasons for Opposition to Wind-Energy Technology.”
Cymene Howe, Rice U, “Anthopocenic Ecoauthority in Transitions.”
Paul Liffman, El Colegio de Michoacán and Rice U. “Economies, ecologies and sovereignties in the Wirikuta silver mining dispute, San Luis Potosí, Mexico.”

Panel D (415p-545p): Modeling and imaging climate change and pollution
Chair: Melinda Fagan, Rice U
Eric Winsberg, U South Florida, “Climate Model Pluralism and Entrenchment.”
Aynne Kokas, Rice U, “Circulating Pollution: Weibo, Twitter, and the Social Networks of Beijing Smog.”

Dinner: 7p, Benjy’s Restaurant, 2424 Dunstan St


Sunday, April 21st

All panels meet in the Kyle Morrow Room, Fondren Library, Rice U

A light breakfast will be available from 830a on

Panel E (9a-1030a): Energy, materiality and power
Chair: Cyrus Mody, Rice U
Stefan Beck, Humboldt U Berlin, “No Brownouts in Germany: Towards an analysis of energopractices after Fukushima.” 
John-Andrew McNeish, Norwegian University of Life Sciences & Chr. Michelsens Institute (CMI), “Recover Power through Energy?”

Panel F (1030a-1230p): Environmental art and media
Chair: Caroline Levander, Rice U
Jenny Lin, U Oregon, “Floating Social Sculpture: Contemporary Chinese Art amidst Global Change.”
Claire Pentecost, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, “Of Waste and Work.”
Joe Campana, Rice U, “The Age of the Enervation? Energy, the Arts, and the Future of Affect.”

Lunch break 1230p – 145p (lunch provided for all participants and attendees)
The lunch break will feature a presentation by graduate students Marcel LaFlamme and Derek Woods of the 2012/13 Cultures of Energy multimedia teaching project.

Plenary Discussion (145p-330p): On to the future of energy and environmental humanities…
Panelists: Jack Zammito (Chair, Rice U), Bill Arnold (Rice U), Andrea Ballestero (Rice U), Gwen Bradford (Rice U), Gökçe Günel (Rice U/Columbia U), Constance Penley (UCSB), Joe Pratt (U Houston) and Alexander Regier (Rice U)
4p-?? Trip to Menil Collection (bus will pick all interested participants up on campus)


List of Symposium Participants and Links
Bill Arnold, (Business, Rice University) 
Andrea Ballestero (Anthropology, Rice University)
Stefan Beck (Anthropology, Humboldt University, Germany) 
Dominic Boyer (Anthropology, Rice University)
Gwen Bradford (Philosophy, Rice University)
Joseph Campana (English, Rice University)
Melinda Fagan (Philosophy, Rice University)
Thomas Finger (History, University of Virginia)
Gökçe Günel (Cultures of Energy Postdoctoral Fellow, Rice University/ACLS New Faculty Fellow, Columbia University)
David Haberman (Religion and Ecology, Indiana University)
Richard Hirsh, (History, Virginia Tech)
Cymene Howe (Anthropology, Rice)
Kairn Klieman (History, University of Houston)
Aynne Kokas (Postdoctoral Fellow in the Chao Center for Asian Studies, Rice University)
Jeff Kripal (Religious Studies, Rice University)
Jenny Lin (Art History, University of Oregon)
Marcel LaFlamme (Doctoral Candidate in Anthropology, Rice University)
Caroline Levander (English, Rice University) 
Elizabeth Long (Sociology, Rice University)
Jean-Francois Mouhot (History, Georgetown University)  
John-Andrew McNeish (Anthropology, UMB/CMI, Norway) 
Cyrus Mody (History, Rice University)
Timothy Morton (English, Rice)
Constance Penley (Film and Media Studies, Carsey-Wolf Center, UC Santa Barbara)
Claire Pentecost (Art and Photography, School of Art Institute of Chicago)
Joe Pratt (History, University of Houston)
Alexander Regier (English, Rice)
Peter Shulman (History, Case Western Reserve)
Eric Winsberg (Philosophy, University of South Florida) 
Derek Woods (Doctoral Candidate in English, Rice University)
John Zammito (History, Rice University)

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