Dominic_11_2013Dominic Boyer, Ph.D.
Founding Director, CENHS
Professor, Department of Anthropology




Dr. Dominic Boyer is an anthropologist specializing in the study of energy, climate, politics and society. With Prof. Cymene Howe, he recently completed a large NSF-funded field research project on the political culture of wind power development in Southern Mexico. He is currently researching competing models of electricity provision and their social implications in Europe, the United States and Latin America. And with Dr. Mark Vardy he is doing NSF-sponsored field research in Houston with victims of Hurricane Harvey. His previous work concerned the practice of news journalism in Germany and the United States and demonstrated how the rise of new digital information technology combined with the spread of neoliberal policy regimes to profoundly unsettle broadcast-era patterns of newsmaking and news circulation, thus forcing news journalists to reinvent their expertise and authority. Future comparative research, also with Prof. Howe, will focus on the cultural and social dimensions of ice loss and sea level rise across the world.

Before joining the faculty at Rice in 2009, Boyer taught at Cornell University and the University of Chicago. He has held visiting fellowships at the EHESS-Paris, the Goethe Universität Frankfurt and Durham University. Boyer has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Fulbright, the Social Science Research Council, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. In addition to editing the book series, Expertise: Cultures and Technologies of Knowledge (Cornell University Press) and Energy Humanities (Johns Hopkins University Press) and to leading the editorial collective of the journal Cultural Anthropology (2015-2018), Boyer is author of Spirit and System: Media, Intellectuals and the Dialectic in Modern German Intellectual Culture (Chicago UP 2005), Understanding Media: A Popular Philosophy (Prickly Paradigm 2007) and The Life Informatic: Newsmaking in the Digital Era (Cornell UP 2013). His next book will be published with Duke University Press in May 2019. It is titled, Energopolitics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene.

He has co-hosted and produced CENHS’s Cultures of Energy podcast since 2016. His first film, “Not Ok,” about the loss of Iceland’s first major glacier to climate change premiered in 2018.