Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization

Division of Social Sciences, The University of Chicago

April 19, 2022

Reading List: Energy Histories and Geographies

by Hannah Wilson-Black

The faculty working group for the Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization (CEGU) hosted their second event at the end of February, this time focusing on the histories and geographies of energy with guest panelists Thea Riofrancos and Julie Klinger. Once again, we’ve compiled a reading list (plus some helpful definitions) if you want to dive deeper into the books, articles, and scholars who came up during the discussion. 

00:06:20 Ryan Jobson contributed “Dead Labor: On Racial Capital and Fossil Capital” to Histories of Racial Capitalism (Columbia University Press, 2021), edited by Destin Jenkins and Justin Leroy. 

00:09:04 Thea Riofrancos is the author ofResource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador (Duke University Press, 2020) and co-author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (Verso Books, 2019).

00:10:22 Julie Klinger is the author of Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terrestrial Subsoils to Lunar Landscapes (Cornell University Press, 2018).

00:23:27 Ryan quotes Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God(J. B. Lippincott, 1937).

00:42:51 Adom Getachew is a UChicago professor and author of Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination (Princeton University, 2019).

00:43:23 Reconsidering Reparations, by Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (Oxford University Press, 2022).

01:04:14 “Bretton Woods” refers to the UN Monetary and Financial Conference convened in Bretton Woods, NH, which established the International Monetary Fund (IMF), among other organizations. 

01:06:59 “COP” refers to the annual UN Climate Change Conference 

01:09:43 Kim Stanley Robinson is an American science fiction writer. His latest novel is The Ministry for the Future (Orbit, 2020). Jason Hickel is an economic anthropologist and the author of Less is More (Penguin, 2021).

01:20:30 Rebecca Lave is a geographer at Indiana University and lead author of the paper “Intervention: Critical physical geography” in The Canadian Geographer (Spring 2014). The quote Julie refers to is: “specific modes, strategies, and institutions of governance and development interact with stochastic, contingent physical processes to shape the earth; racism, the movement of global capital, and the history of colonialism are as fundamental as the hydrologic cycle, atmospheric circulation, and plate tectonics” (Lave et. al 2014). 

The Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization (CEGU) is a proposal currently under development by a faculty working group at the University of Chicago. Based in the Division of Social Sciences, CEGU is envisioned as a robust interdisciplinary platform for critical thinking, advanced research, and innovative pedagogy on the societal and spatial dimensions of climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental transformation. Please visit cegu.info for more information on the proposal and the faculty working group’s upcoming events.