Futilities: exhausting (in)human energies

Authors: Anna Davidson*, University of Huddersfield
Topics: Geographic Theory, Disabilities, Gender
Keywords: energy, exhaustion, disability, feminist theory
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Hampton Room, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Feminist, critical race and queer theorists of late liberalism, in particular, have theorised how power is enacted through bodies in differentiated forms of exhaustion and endurance (e.g. Berlant & Povinelli). Activist burnout, empathy fatigue and the heralding of a generalised ‘Burnout Society’ exhausted by excessive positivity (Han) all seem to point towards a paradoxical draining of human energies alongside increasing global energy consumption. In this paper, I consider exhaustion through experiences of fatigue as well as energy in the form of fossil fuels. Drawing on discourses around the definition and management of fatigue, as well as sustainable energy consumption, I ask how human energy is understood and managed in relation to inhuman energies (e.g food and fossil fuels)? What other understandings and relations of energy might be forged and how might futurities/ futilities be thought and practiced when forms of fatigue are not so much endured or overcome, but engaged with curiously?

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