Russell R. Dynes. 2000. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 97-115.
Disasters are usually identified as having occurred at a particular time and place, but they also occur at a particular time in human history and within a specific social and cultural context. Consequently, it is appropriate to call the Lisbon earthquake the first Continue reading
K. Yusoff, 2019, University of Minnesota Press.
Kathryn Yusoff examines how the grammar of geology is foundational to establishing the extractive economies of subjective life and the earth under colonialism and slavery. She initiates a transdisciplinary conversation between black feminist theory, geography, and the earth sciences, addressing Continue reading
In August 2018 in Stockholm, Sweden, something utterly unremarkable happened. A student, Greta Thunberg, then 15 years old, skipped school for one day a week and Continue reading
Burying victims of the Black Death
The COVID-19 spring, and now summer, of 2020 has kept me thinking about something with which I have been preoccupied for about a year now: the fresco series by Ambrogio Lorenzetti known as the Allegory of Good and Bad Government, Continue reading
One 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
In the past eight weeks I’ve read four equally scary magazine articles. They are (in no specific order): Continue reading
“There’s no image of it, other than that disco-ball microscopic view of the thing.”
— Terry Allen
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
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
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
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
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
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
This is to follow on from my post last week–I want to discuss Clark Miller’s ideas on how we will design the solar energy future, based on Continue reading
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
[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.]
Clark A. Miller, Jennifer Richter, & Jason O’Leary. 2015. Energy Research & Social Science, vol. 6, pp. 29-40.
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
[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