The next lecture in the "Carbon Nations" series is coming up on Thursday, November 13, at 4 pm. Professor Christopher Jones of Arizona State University will be giving a talk entitled, "Routes of Power: The Politics of Energy Transitions in Modern America," in the Building for Environmental Research and Teaching, Room 015.
Professor Jones works on the past, present, and future of energy systems. His research focuses on how human societies have come to use energy the ways they do, and the consequences of these choices for the ways people live, work, and play. He recieved his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania History & Sociology of Science Department, and has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Harvard University Center for the Environment and the Ciriacy-Wantrup Fellowship at the University of California-Berkeley. His recent book, Routes of Power: Energy and Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2014), changes our understanding of the "Fossil Fuel Revolution" by shifting focus from energy production onto advances in energy access between 1820 and 1930, including canals, pipelines, and wires that delivered power in unprecedented quantities to cities and factories at a great distance from production sites.
The "Carbon Nations" series of six lectures in 2014-2015 is designed to do something important but rare: bring historians into debates about energy and climate change. Focusing largely on the U.S. and U.S. corporations abroad, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, Carbon Nations asserts a crucial premise: the carbon-based economy is a historical creation, a product of human culture and politics. Its transformation into something new thus requires a deep engagement with the culture and politics, as much as with the science and technology, of energy. The series has been organized by Robert Self, Royce Family Chair of Teaching Excellence and Professor of History.