Efficiency Meets the Pandemic: The Shortage of N95 Masks

N95 face maskOne hallmark of a market-driven economy is efficiency, i.e. manufacturing a product at the lowest cost. However, some problems exist with always being driven to reduce cost. One problem is that Continue reading

The Coronavirus Looks Like Neoliberalism, Part Two: Images and Counterimages

“There’s no image of it, other than that disco-ball microscopic view of the thing.”

Terry Allen

screen jpg

Screen capture of CNN reporting on coronavirus in the West Wing of the White House, May 11, 2020

In my previous post, I drew on Louis Althusser’s theory of ideology to argue that the “spiky blob” image of the coronavirus produced by designers at the CDC is an ideological image that “interpellates” us by repeatedly triggering in us a flight instinct that leads us to an isolating abyss of fear and thus constitutes us as subjects amenable to the project of neoliberalism.

The broader visual culture of COVID-19 is similarly inclined and has taught us how to fear Continue reading

The Coronavirus Looks Like Neoliberalism, Part One: The “Spiky Blob”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/qpytHeWTjsMrFlX3zPl6DIbhB9E=/1440x0/smart/d1i4t8bqe7zgj6.cloudfront.net/03-11-2020/t_4fe9b6f1f3aa49ccab17c8475cdd7a8e_name_Screen_Shot_2020_03_10_at_10_59_07_PM.png

Screen capture of Sean Hannity on Fox News, February 27, 2020

A couple months ago, as the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic was setting in, I read a news story in which I learned that unwashed produce could put my life in jeopardy. Why am I being taught to fear vegetables? Louis Althusser may have some answers: Continue reading

Climate Change, the Anthropocene, Health, and Disease

Empty classroom. Photo by Benson Kua (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Dream Course, Interrupted

With the end of the spring semester, the Climate Change in History Dream Course came to a close. The course was neatly broken in two by COVID-19, which was officially declared a pandemic in mid-March, just as Continue reading

Paul Edwards on Infrastructure, Time, and Risk in Climate Science and Politics

Our final guest lecture for Climate Change in History came from Paul Edwards of Stanford University, a leading expert in the history of climate science who has served on the IPCC. Edwards blends science and technology studies (“STS”) with Continue reading

Indigenizing Environmental Governance

 

Yvette Wiley

Yvette Wiley showing the author how she uses the Strahler Stream Order in her work as the Director of Environmental Services at Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. Photo by Loren Waters.

In her April 2020 presentation, Tahltan scholar Dr. Candis Callison, takes a close look at how the Anthropocene – as articulated by scientific collectives such as the Anthropocene Working Group – signifies a logic of severed relations that pines for Continue reading

Candis Callison on the Crisis of Climate Change

Last week’s Dream Course talk came from Candis Callison of the University of British Columbia, an expert on Science and Technology Studies, Indigenous Studies, and journalism. She argued that Continue reading

Clark Miller on Solar Futures

After having to cancel Clark Miller’s in-person guest lecture for our Climate Change in History Dream Course because of the COVID-19 epidemic, we were excited to reschedule a virtual visit, which took place via Zoom on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Here is a video recording of Miller’s virtual lecture, and links to Continue reading

“Socio-energy systems design: A policy framework for energy transitions”

[This is first in a set of posts coordinated with Dr. Clark Miller’s (virtual) visit to OU’s Climate Change in History Dream Course. The video of Dr. Miller’s talk will appear here Friday, followed next Wednesday by Dr. Grady’s response.]

CITATION:
Clark A. Miller, Jennifer Richter, & Jason O’Leary. 2015. Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 6, pp. 29-40.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
In the context of large-scale energy transitions, current approaches to energy policy have become too narrowly constrained around problems of electrons, fuel, and carbon, the technologies that provide them, and the cost of those technologies. Energy systems are deeply enmeshed in broad patterns of social, economic, and political life and organization, and significant changes to energy systems increasingly are accompanied by Continue reading

The Role of Art in a Pandemic

Social Distance (Illustration)

[With this post we begin a series in which we will offer some responses to the pandemic now unfolding across the globe, disrupting everyone’s lives. As we do on this blog we will speak from our own disciplinary positions, in the hope that people from other fields might find their own attempts to understand this crisis enriched.]

Pandemics, like climate change, are strange combinations of human activity and other natural processes. We make pandemics through all that we do — moving, touching, caring, talking, and so forth — because Continue reading

Scaling Deep Time: Encountering the History of Climate Change

Glacially striated (scratched) surfaces, Lake Tahoe, CA

The historian has rarely lived through the events of past times that he describes. He has not seen them with his own eyes; rather, he describes them on the basis of the documents at hand, whether these are the yellowed leaves of old codices and parchments, or the brown fossil leaves Continue reading

“The Floral Archive”

Anton Kerner von Marilaun

Anton Kerner von Marilaun

CITATION: Chapter 10 of Coen, D. R. 2018. Climate in motion: science, empire, and the problem of scale. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
ABSTRACT: Chapter 10 introduces the reader to Anton Kerner von Marilaun (1831-1898), who is known for documenting the flora of the Austro-Hungarian empire. In addition to compiling a list of the plant species that occurred within the empire’s sprawling borders, Kerner also Continue reading

“Emotional impacts of environmental decline: What can Native cosmologies teach sociology about emotions and environmental justice”

CITATION:
Kari Marie Norgaard and Ron Reed. 2017. Theory and Society, vol. 46, pp. 463-495.
ON-LINE AVAILABILITY:
ABSTRACT:
This article extends analyses of environmental influences on social action by examining the emotions experienced by Karuk Tribal members in the face of environmental decline. Continue reading

Climate Change in History Dream Course

Winslow Homer Hurricane, Bahamas

detail of Winslow Homer, Hurricane, Bahamas (1898)

This week, Dr. Suzanne Moon and I begin team-teaching “Climate Change in History” (HSCI 3473: History of Ecology and Environmentalism) as a Presidential Dream Course, a program which allows University of Oklahoma faculty to upgrade an existing course into its dream version, with guest lectures Continue reading