Energy humanities: What we know and where we are going

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Matúš Mišík/Comenius University and Nada Kujundžić/University of Turku and University of Zagreb
contact email: 

For humankind, energy production and consumption present a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we need energy to survive; on the other hand, the production of energy with current technology poses a threat to our very survival as it is not sustainable from a long-term perspective. The emerging, highly interdisciplinary field of energy humanities (Szeman and Boyer “The Rise of Energy Humanities”, 2014) responds to these concerns by viewing energy as a key factor in contemporary human (social, cultural, political) relations. Since the way we produce and consume energy is deeply connected to our social, cultural, and political reality, a shift from non-sustainable to sustainable forms of energy production (energy transition) is not possible without wide-scale social, cultural, etc. changes and transformations.

The workshop aims to bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines to discuss the history, present state, and future discussion of this vibrant and relevant field of scholarship. We welcome (among others) purely theoretical papers and philosophical musings, as well as state-of-the-art papers and case studies. We also invite papers that examine the role and representation of different types of energy in various art forms, such as literature, film, or visual arts, and popular culture. Since this type of research has mostly been oil-oriented (see anthology “Energy Humanities” prepared by Imre Szeman and Dominic Boyer, 2017), we especially welcome papers exploring other types of energy, as well as those dealing with artistic visualisations of future changes – for, as Sovacool and Bossmann note, in order to plan the future, we first need to be able to imagine it (“Fantastic Futures and Three American Energy Transitions”, 2013).

We invite authors to submit proposals for papers dealing with a variety of issues connected to energy humanities. Papers can deal with theoretical, methodological, empirical or any other issue. The deadline for abstracts is 31 January 2018. Abstracts of up to 200 words (together with up to 5 keywords and a short biography of the author(s)) should be sent to matus.misik@uniba.sk and nadkuj@utu.fi. Authors will be notified of the selection outcome no later than 12 February 2018. Any question shall be sent to one or both organizers. The workshop will take place on 10-11 May 2018 at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia.

 Organizers can cover accommodation costs for up to two (or three for overseas delegates) nights. Participants will be responsible for their own travel arrangements.