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On Barak, “Against Energy: Provincializing Thermodynamics between Aden and Port Said”

November 15, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge


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On Barak, “Against Energy: Provincializing Thermodynamics between Aden and Port Said” 11.15.17

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Despite feigning perpetuity, “energy” is a child of its time, the nineteenth century. Born from the related challenges of steam engineering and British imperialism its legacies still haunt and limit our thinking on matters ranging from fossil fuels to race, from labor to the underground. This talk seeks to situate the emblematic energy source – coal – back in its imperial context, revealing what may be called “coalonialism” at play in the territories between the two major global fueling stations of the century, Aden and Port Said. Such acts of provincializing flesh out alternative ways for regarding fossil fuels, including ethical, political and environmental insights that the science of thermodynamics helped evaporate.

Barak is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern & African History at Tel Aviv University.

The Center for Cultural Studies hosts a weekly Wednesday colloquium featuring work by faculty and visitors. The sessions consist of a 40-45 minute presentation followed by discussion. We gather at noon, with presentations beginning at 12:15 PM. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunches; the Center provides coffee, tea, and cookies.

All Center for Cultural Studies events are free and open to the public. Staff assistance is provided by the Institute for Humanities Research.


November 15, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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