Energy, Society and Place Research Unit

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham

Upcoming conference sessions on ‘Politicising energy consumption’

ESPRU members Stefan Bouzarovski and Rosie Day will co-organise a group of sessions on ‘Politicising energy consumption’ at the forthcoming Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers. The other two organisers of the sessions are Conor Harrison (University of North Carolina) and Matthew Huber (Syracuse University). The sessions are aimed at conceptualising energy consumption as a political site and practice. Papers highlight the different ways in which energy circulations at the scale of households and communities intersect with the everyday politics of technology, nature and social inequality. As a whole, the numerous presenters draw attention to the social and technical functioning of the infrastructural assemblage embedded in domestic energy flows.

In the first of the two sessions, we will reflect on the energy consumption-technology-nature nexus. We expect the following contributions:

  • Gareth Powells, Enrolment and Exclusion – The politics of smart electricity demand management
  • Heather Rosenfeld, ‘Plug Into Choice’? Conflicting neoliberalisms and the spatialization of (bio)politics in the installation of and resistance to smart grid technologies
  • Gordon Walker, Selling the air: Energy, conditioning and circulations
  • Rosie Day, The multi-scalar politics of district heating connection in Lerwick, Shetland Islands
  • Andrew Karvonen, The politics of heat: Reconfiguring domestic energy provision in the UK

In the second session, we will explore the politics of locating responsibility and agency:

  • Conor Harrison, Energy poverty in Rocky Mount Mills, 1929-1933
  • Hélène Subremon, Energy constraint and social innovation or how to bring domestic energy uses to political level
  • Sara Fuller, Assessing responsibility for low carbon living in Hong Kong
  • Saska Petrova, Technological agency and carbon control: The everyday politics of ‘slanty’ energy devices
  • Autumn Thoyre, Who owns North Carolina’s negawatts? Climate change, free light bulbs, and green neoliberalism
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