EAN/FAN Workshop 2023: Renewable Energy and Post-Carbon Futures

Energy Anthropology & Futures Anthropologies Network workshop, 15-17 June 2023

We are excited to announce that the 2023 EAN Workshop will take place in Summer 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal! The workshop’s conference theme – as voted by our network poll – will be Renewable Energy and Post-Carbon Futures. This year’s workshop is extra special, as it will be an EAN-FAN collaboration, organised jointly by the Energy Anthropology Network and the Future Anthropology Network. The Call for Papers is now open, and closes on January 3rd 2023. We look forward to seeing you in Lisbon!

Call for Papers

The climate crisis requires a global shift away from dependence on fossil fuel energy. Globally, more than 70% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by 2050 to keep global warming well below 2°C. Electricity generation from renewable energy sources will be central to the needed transition, yet expectations of a constant supply of electricity to fuel ever-expanding production, energy security and affordability present challenges to the creation of just and decarbonised futures. While the pace of decarbonisation needs to increase, growth of the sector can, but does not necessarily reconfigure power and hierarchies within and between nations. Renewable energy systems can also pose a threat to societies, nature and planetary health, and have become increasingly scrutinized over issues of mineral extraction, financialisation, infrastructural expansions or waste disposal. While low-carbon energy transitions are presented as crucial to counter fossil fuel dominance, they too can (and have) become entangled into neo-colonial ambitions and growth imperatives. This raises important questions about the potential political landscapes of a post-fossil fuel era. Which futures are made possible by low-carbon energy production, and which are foreclosed? What comprises ‘successful’ energy systems – and for whom? As the world moves towards post-fossil and low-carbon futures, how can anthropology and the social sciences contribute to the making of just and sustainable futures?

We invite engaged energy and future anthropologists and other interdisciplinary counterparts from geography, science and technology studies, political ecology and similar disciplines into a critically constructive forum of discussion. Presentations that incorporate multimodal approaches to these themes are encouraged. Please submit a 250-500 words abstract to Katja Müller (katja.mueller@zirs.uni-halle.de) and Ragnhild Freng Dale (rfd@vestforsk.no) by 10 Jan 2023. Include your institutional affiliation and whether you would like to participate remotely or in person. The Energy Anthropology and Future Anthropologies Networks are pleased to hold this workshop in cooperation with the Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia at the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa during 15-17 June 2023.

EASA 2022 in Belfast

EASA 2022 is coming up soon! It will be a hybrid conference hosted by the Queen’s University Belfast and is particularly focused on the connections between hope and political projects of (un)commoning. This gives us a way of thinking about political, social, economic, environmental and cultural transformations in the context of the pandemic and beyond. Are there transformations for which we can hope? If so, how can we hope for such transformations? What kinds of transformations should be in-common or what kinds of transformations are best left as uncommon?

The Energy Anthropology Network will convene at EASA2022 and for the first time officially sponsor two (!) panels, namely P043 Commoning-decommoning dynamics in climate and energy politics and
P091 Energy transition(s): The promises of renewables and future of the commons.

And besides contemporary politics, here’s another indication that energy anthropology is gaining traction: P022 Uncommon exporations between green technologies, climate hopes and the anthropological imagination and P128 The European energy sector in transformation have a strong energy focus, and P146 Experimental transformations – Living labs as hopeful commons and P008 Infrastructural makeshifts: the temporality and materiality of hope in times of urban transformations also explicitly invited contributions from energy research.

The network meeting will be held on Wednesday afternoon (17:00-18:45 Belfast time). Attendance is possible for those registered as well as unregistered.

We are looking forward to an engaging conference for and beyond energy anthropology!

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