Call for Papers: Transitions in Energy Landscapes and Everyday Life in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

RHN 24/2016 | Call

Conveners: Heather Chappells (University of British Columbia), Vanessa Taylor (University of Greenwich), Frank Trentmann (Birkbeck, University of London), Helmuth Trischler (Deutsches Museum, RCC)

27-29 April 2017, Kerschensteiner Kolleg / Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany

Deadline for Abstracts: 31 May 2016

Transitions in Energy Landscapes and Everyday Life in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

This workshop will explore the co-evolution of energy landscapes and everyday lives over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Energy landscapes are environments defined by energy-related processes and infrastructures of extraction, generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption. These environments have changed dramatically in the last two centuries. Systems based around local extraction of wood to fuel open fires have been gradually, though not completely or uniformly, replaced by centralized generating plants, gas pipelines, pylons, and wires delivering energy directly to homes. Changes in material and spatial energy formations have coincided with major social transformations of consumer cultures and urban/rural ways of life. But how energy transformed everyday lives and how people engaged with energy and other infrastructures of modernity was, and still is, highly differentiated by political, cultural, and social contexts.

We invite proposals for papers that will conceptualize and explore the transformative relations between emerging spatial formations of energy and consumers’ encounters with new energies. Papers should address the two core workshop questions: (1) How have human-environment encounters with material energies and infrastructures varied and challenged conceptualizations of energy as a universal, modernizing force acting upon nature and society? (2) How have changing energy landscapes shaped, and been shaped by, the agency and resilience of people in their roles as consumers, citizens, and environmentalists? Through the evaluation of past intersections of material energies, local environments, and everyday lives we also ask participants to consider connections to debates about sustainable energy formations today.

The Call for Papers can be found here (pdf).