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Cultures of Energy

Cultures of Energy brings writers, artists and scholars together to talk, think and feel their way into the Anthropocene. We cover serious issues like climate change, species extinction and energy transition. But we also try to confront seemingly huge and insurmountable problems with insight, creativity and laughter. We believe in the possibility of personal and cultural change. And we believe that the arts and humanities can help guide us toward a more sustainable future. Cultures of Energy is sponsored by Rice University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS, pronounced ‘sense’). Join the conversation on Twitter @cenhs and on the web at culturesofenergy.com
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Oct 21, 2016

Cymene and Dominic say hello from Copenhagen and muse about the humanities’ expanding color spectrum. We then welcome (12:12) to the podcast the fabulous Stacy Alaimo, Professor of English at the University of Texas-Arlington and author of the celebrated Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self (Indiana U, 2010). We discuss her new book, Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times (U Minnesota 2016), in light of her thinking about trans-corporeality and ethics in the Anthropocene. Stacy shares her concerns that an abstract sense of species identity and pride is too often smuggled into the Anthropocene concept and explains why she thinks material feminism and feminist science studies have become such important resources for understanding our present condition. We discuss why the turn toward materiality and material agency demands that we engage science in new ways. We talk about the unruly agency of xenobiotic chemicals, deep sea creatures, epigenetics, and how to remake human sprawl to take other creaturely interests into account. Stacy explains that she is not in the hope business but that she does support ecodelics—the mind altering exercise of trying to imagine and feel the Anthropocene from nonhuman perspectives. Stacy’s German Shepherd, Felix, kindly helps us grasp this last point and he shares his thoughts on squirrel metonymy and his unease when the postman cometh. The lesson of the Anthropocene? There is no someplace else. So be present for all the species in your ecology, dear friends!

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