Cultures of Energy Podcast

The Cultures of Energy podcast invites scholars, artists and activists to discuss the pressing energy and environmental issues of our times. Sometimes the conversations are more light-hearted, sometimes they are more earnest. But the podcast always strives to show how the insights of energy and environmental humanities can help us to better understand and overcome the dilemmas we face. The show is co-hosted by Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe, who frequently and shamelessly use the intro segments to promote pet theories and air random grievances. They would love to hear from you.

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June 21, 2018

131 – Waterworld

On this week’s podcast, in honor of the summer solstice we bring to you another edition of Soylent Rainbow, our occasional special feature talking ecopocalyptic films past and present. This time, we decided to revisit the 1995 Kevin Costner vehicle, Waterworld, to see if the critics of yesteryear were too harsh. Was Waterworld really ahead […]



This week’s podcast is devoted to discussing a prototype for making academic conferences less carbon intensive and more accessible to our colleagues outside the global North. Case in point is last month’s remarkably successful Displacements conference ( organized by the Society for Cultural Anthropology, breaking all previous SCA records for contributions and participation because of […]


Dominic and Cymene begin with a deep dive into the marvelous world of goat yoga and wonder what other animals should get into the game. Of course, we only learned about goat yoga because of this week’s guest, the fabulous Summerson Carr from the University of Chicago. We talk to her (17:39) about her most […]


Cymene and Dominic talk true crime and Pruitt crime on this week’s podcast before (13:59) welcoming the fabulous Liz Roberts from the University of Michigan to the conversation. Our offspeed start features the legend of Mick Taussig’s formica table before Liz tells us how she became interested in building bridges between anthropology and epigenetic science […]


After Cymene and Dominic take a moment to call out for profit academic publishing and cheerleading, this week’s podcast brings you (16:00) the keynote panel from CENHS’s Cultures of Energy 7 symposium, which explored the art, craft and significance of making alternate worlds. The conversation features famed Egyptian artist Ganzeer (The Solar Grid) celebrated novelist […]

April 12, 2018

121 – Heather Paxson

Dominic and Cymene plug Cultures of Energy 7—this year’s energy humanities symposium at Rice which begins today, details at—and then they turn to cheese, why it’s funny, how it can be applied to cats, “cheddaring,” and much more. Is there an anthropologist who knows more about cheese than anyone? Yes of course there is, […]

April 5, 2018

120 – Brian Larkin

Dominic and Cymene discuss the Houston city government’s recent decision to elevate new homes in the floodplains and they take a few moments to plan their dream dinner parties. We then (18:12) teleport you to the office of amazing Columbia anthropologist and infrastructure guru, Brian Larkin. Brian explains to us how his interest in practices […]