This session seeks to investigate the limits of imagination around urban energy transitions, by elaborating upon recent efforts to bring discussions of energy justice into conversation with (urban) political ecology (Franklin and Osborne 2017; Hilbert and Werner 2016). We urge critical examination of the technologies, strategies, and financial mechanisms that make possible “clean” or “renewable” energy and the ways in which these existing models reproduce intergenerational political-economic, racial, gender, and national privilege in the process of energy transition.
We invite papers that consider the place-based, specific, and embodied harms of decarbonization strategies as well as the possibilities of realizing more abundant futures. In asking “Abundant futures for whom?” we hope to pay attention not only to the uneven landscape of affordances, exclusions and socio-ecological violence that mark capitalist and colonial energyscapes in transition, but also to reconsider what forms of abundance, or ‘the good life’ are presupposed in these different projects and imaginaries. Following in the tradition of ecofeminist, decolonial and indigenous scholars, how might the politics of decarbonization change when abundance is recast as a multiple and shifting embrace of “more diverse and autonomous forms of life and ways of living together” (Collard, Dempsey, and Sunberg, 2015, 322)?
Possible topics include:
Struggles to define, control and reshape energy systems (broadly understood)
Theoretical reflections on the politics of energy transitions, expansions, and/or eliminations
Putting into practice abolition ecologies, just transitions, green new deals, and other sustainability paradigms
Conceptualizing energy poverty, energy justice, energy democracy, and thinking beyond settler futurities
Decolonization, countersovereignty and the territorial politics of energy transitions
Counter-logistics in energy infrastructures
Questioning the urban/rural division
Agro-ecology and diverse energy/economic systems
Please send abstracts, proposals or inquiries to Nikki Luke (firstname.lastname@example.org) by December 7, 2018.
Collard, Rosemary-Claire, Jessica Dempsey, and Juanita Sundberg. 2015. “A Manifesto for Abundant Futures.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 105 (2): 322–30.
Franklin, Remington, and Tracey Osborne. 2017. “Toward an Urban Political Ecology of Energy Justice: The Case of Rooftop Solar in Tucson, AZ.” Journal of Political Ecology 24 (1): 1055.
Hilbert, Anthony, and Marion Werner. 2016. “Turn up the Heat! Contesting Energy Poverty in Buffalo, NY.” Geoforum 74 (August): 222–32.