Feminist Energy Geographies I

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups: Energy and Environment Specialty Group, Feminist Geographies Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 58
Organizers: Nikki Luke, Danya Al-Saleh
Chairs: Nikki Luke


This session invites participants working in different geographical and resource contexts to consider feminist approaches to energy geographies. As a growing field of nature-society scholarship, energy geographies has advanced research agendas to investigate the changing spatiality of energy extraction, finance, production, and use. Building on political economy and political ecology literatures, theory-building around energy considers the interdependent relationship between energy and capital accumulation, and as such, energy geographers have explored the connections between energy and social reproduction and the diverse ways in which energy systems intersect in everyday life (Calvert 2016; Valdivia 2018). Research into the geographical imaginaries of extraction and consumption examine how energy systems have shaped modern culture and politics (Appel, Mason, and Watts 2015; Huber 2013; Scott 2010), while research into energy poverty evidences the intimate entanglements of energy access and energy markets at home (Halff, Sovacool, and Rozhon 2014; Harrison and Popke 2011; Hilbert and Werner 2016). Historical and contemporary interventions trace the intersections of gender, race, class, and geography that generate difference in access to energy infrastructure (Desbiens 2004; Harrison 2016; Lennon 2017; McDonald 2009; Needham 2014; Nye 1992; Petrova and Simcock 2019). Feminist scholarship has the potential to extend analyses of the ways in which energy contributes to uneven power relationships and pose alternatives to build more just energy systems (Bell, Daggett, and Labuski 2020; Wilson 2018). Following a recent intervention on feminist political economy that situates “social difference – including, but not limited to, gender – to be integral to the functioning of political-economic systems and knowledge production processes” (Werner et al. 2017, 2), we ask how engaging feminist political economic and feminist political ecological scholarship may be useful for understanding energy systems in a period of energy transition and for whom feminist geographical energy research is useful? We are particularly interested in papers that consider feminist epistemologies and methodologies in energy research.

Appel, Hannah, Arthur Mason, and Michael Watts, eds. 2015. Subterranean Estates: Life Worlds of Oil and Gas. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Bell, Shannon Elizabeth, Cara Daggett, and Christine Labuski. 2020. “Toward Feminist Energy Systems: Why Adding Women and Solar Panels Is Not Enough.” Energy Research & Social Science 68 (October).
Calvert, Kirby. 2016. “From ‘Energy Geography’ to ‘Energy Geographies’: Perspectives on a Fertile Academic Borderland.” Progress in Human Geography 40 (1): 105–25.
Desbiens, Caroline. 2004. “Producing North and South: A Political Geography of Hydro Development in Québec.” The Canadian Geographer / Le Géographe Canadien 48 (2): 101–18.
Halff, Antoine, Benjamin K. Sovacool, and Jon Rozhon. 2014. Energy Poverty : Global Challenges and Local Solutions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Harrison, Conor. 2016. “Race, Space, and Electric Power: Jim Crow and the 1934 North Carolina Rural Electrification Survey.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106 (4): 909–31.
Harrison, Conor, and Jeff Popke. 2011. “‘Because You Got to Have Heat’- The Networked Assemblage of Energy Poverty in Eastern North Carolina.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101 (4): 949–61.
Hilbert, Anthony, and Marion Werner. 2016. “Turn up the Heat! Contesting Energy Poverty in Buffalo, NY.” Geoforum 74 (August): 222–32.
Huber, Matthew T. 2013. Lifeblood: Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Lennon, Myles. 2017. “Decolonizing Energy: Black Lives Matter and Technoscientific Expertise amid Solar Transitions.” Energy Research & Social Science 30 (August): 18–27.
McDonald, David A., ed. 2009. Electric Capitalism: Recolonising Africa on the Power Grid. London: EarthScan.
Needham, Andrew. 2014. Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Nye, David E. 1992. Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Petrova, Saska, and Neil Simcock. 2019. “Gender and Energy: Domestic Inequities Reconsidered.” Social & Cultural Geography, 1–19.
Scott, Rebecca R. 2010. Removing Mountains: Extracting Nature and Identity in the Appalachian Coalfields. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Valdivia, Gabriela. 2018. “‘Wagering Life’ in the Petro-City: Embodied Ecologies of Oil Flow, Capitalism, and Justice in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers 108 (2): 549–57.
Werner, Marion, Kendra Strauss, Brenda Parker, Reecia Orzeck, Kate Derickson, and Anne Bonds. 2017. “Feminist Political Economy in Geography: Why Now, What Is Different, and What For?” Geoforum 79: 1–4.
Wilson, Sheena. 2018. “Energy Imaginaries: Feminist and Decolonial Futures.” In Materialism and the Critique of Energy, edited by Brent Ryan Bellamy and Jeff Diamanti, 377–411. Chicago, IL: MCM’ Publishing.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Deepti Chatti*, Humboldt State University, Is There a Feminist Energy Technology? 15 8:00 AM
Presenter Danya Al-Saleh*, University of Wisconsin, Petro-education: Infinite Oil and Batches of Petroleum Engineers 15 8:15 AM
Presenter Özge Yaka*, University of Potsdam, Gender, Body and Agency in the Struggles against Hydropower: The Case of Turkey’s East Black Sea region 15 8:30 AM
Presenter Nikki Luke*, University of Tennessee, Thinking Through Energy: Resourcefulness in Community-Based Energy Research 15 8:45 AM
Presenter Katie Mazer*, Harvard University, Reproducing extraction: Uneven development, social difference, and resource work 15 9:00 AM

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