Call for papers: State – Phase – Becoming: society, energy and new materialities

Canadian Association of Geographers 2014, May 26-30; Brock University

Special Session: State – Phase – Becoming: society, energy and new

The procurement and consumption of energy is now producing regimes of governance, discipline and capital in novel and unprecedented ways, with a concurrent rise in political debate, civil society agitation, media
interest and of course academic inquiry. Much of this work could be said to be concerned with the impact of material forms of energy as commodity -primarily the procurement, exploitation and use of carbon – on governments, societies and economies, with accounts of these complex regimes appearing in diverse political economies, geographies and histories (see for instance Huber 2013; Jones 2010; Labban 2008; Mitchell 2011)

At the same time energy is increasingly understood and theorized in provocative ways, considering ontologically diverse energy registers in relation to one another – for example, the objects of physics and the force of social relations (Barad, 2008); terrestrial and social expenditures (Clark, 2010; Yusoff, 2009); ecological and capitalist metabolisms (Loftus, 2012); embodied care and international trade (Pratt, 2012); consumption or conflagration and creative or artistic remediation (Bayly, 2012). Whether as ‘feeling’ or ‘fuel’, much of this work considers energy as a pervasive animating force that appears in many states and might pass through many phases. In short, scholars have turned to the creation of both new energy materialities and new subjectivities with and through energy, mingling engagements with technology, capital, law and the state.

In this special session we invite papers that bring these two broad areas of ‘energy’-related research and theory into further conversation, and broadly address the central question:

‘What is the relationship between the transformative power of new (and old) energy regimes and changes in the constitution, borders and place of the human?’

Possible areas of interest include but are not limited to:
– climate change (adaptation, resilience, mitigation)
– the Anthropocene
– Energy as a socio-technical object
– Energy Policy and energy governance
– New energy subjects: citizenship and participation
– Energy, faith and cosmology
– socioeconomic effects of extraction and production
– conservation and civil society
– Gendered energies and gendered energy landscape
– Bio-energy – the generation of new energy technologies
– Normative approaches to energy
– Containment. displacement. excess. lack
– Energy’s labours and the labours of energy
– Waste, pollution and other externalities
– The financialization of energy and risk
– The mobilization of scarcity and security discourse
– The construction of surplus and stranded resources

Please send abstracts (approx. 250 words) and proposed titles to both Aaron Franks ( and Jonathan Peyton ( by February 14, 2014.

Barad, K. 2007. *Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning, *Durham, Duke University Press.
Bayly, S. 2012. The Persistence of Waste. *Performance Research, *17, 120-127.
Clark, N. 2010. Volatile Worlds, Vulnerable Bodies: Confronting Abrupt Climate Change. *Theory, Culture & Society, *27*, *31-53.
Huber, M. 2013. *Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital.*University of Minnesota Press, 2013.
Jones, TC. 2010. *Desert Kingdom: How oil and water forged modern Saudi Arabia*. Harvard University Press.
Labban, M. *Space, oil and capital*. Routledge, 2008
Loftus, A. 2012. *Everyday Environmentalism: Creating an Urban Political Ecology*. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
Mitchell, T. 2011. *Carbon democracy: Political power in the age of oil*. Verso Books.
Pratt, G. 2012.* Families Apart: migrant mothers and the conflicts of labour and love* University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
Yusoff, K. 2009. Excess, Catastrophe and Climate Change. *Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, *27*, *1010-1029.

One response to “Call for papers: State – Phase – Becoming: society, energy and new materialities

  1. Reblogged this on rhulgeopolitics and commented:
    v. interesting sounding session at the Canadian Association of Geographers in May.

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