CFP: Energy Ethics: Fragile Lives and Imagined Futures

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015
CFP: Energy Ethics: Fragile Lives and Imagined Futures

Energy Ethics: Fragile Lives and Imagined Futures: A Call for Papers

A multi-panel two day conference to be held at the University of St Andrews, 17-18 March 2016.

Organisers: Mette M. High (University of St Andrews) and Jessica Smith (Colorado School of Mines)

Keynote speakers: Prof. Sarah Broadie, Wardlaw Professor of Philosophy (University of St Andrews), and Prof. Benjamin Sovacool, Director of the Danish Center for Energy Technology and Professor of Business and Social Sciences (Aarhus University).

The remarkable growth in global energy consumption has been accompanied by questions about the suitability of fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable energy sources to fuel the spiraling demand. Public and academic debates explore the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of producing energy through technologies that range from rapidly aging coal-fired power plants to record-breaking windmill farms and booming gas fields home to hydraulically fractured horizontal wells. Debates about energy futures bring together resources and technologies in raising fundamental ethical questions that involve judgments of the kinds of lives we desire for ourselves and our others: What is the place of energy in human life? How do we make sense of the ways in which we produce, distribute and use it? And how do such actions relate to what we consider to be right or good?

We seek papers from anthropology and beyond that explore the centrality of ethical practice, judgment and questioning in our relationship with energy. We encourage papers that offer new approaches to energy ethics, in particular by recognizing ethical sensibility as part of the human condition, animating the everyday thoughts and practices of people whether frackers and petroleum engineers or proponents of renewable energy. We desire to move beyond simplistic corporate social responsibility frameworks that subsume ethics within highly particular value regimes related to marketing, advertising and pricing, but without evacuating ethics from the lived corporate worlds that shape so much of our energy systems.

A select number of papers will be chosen to complement the speakers already confirmed for the conference. Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be emailed to the conference organisers Mette M. High( and Jessica M. Smith( by 15 October 2015 for full consideration. Notification of acceptance will be emailed shortly after the deadline.

Full conference information, including confirmed speakers and keynote lectures, can be found at the conference website Please note that we cannot provide funding so costs for travel and other arrangements need to be covered by the presenter. However, there will be a limited number of travel and accommodation bursaries available to PhD students and early career scholars based in the UK and continental Europe.