About Intersecting Energy Cultures
Intersecting Energy Cultures is a transdisciplinary working group, established to bring together researchers working directly with community-based partners to develop a picture of the varied and uneven impacts that stem from the workings of energy industries. In developing this project through the experimental rubric of the environmental humanities, we seek to explore the ways that arts-driven and humanistic methods of inquiry might enable us to carry out more equitable community-driven participatory research around historic, contemporary and future relations with sites of energy production.
This project is led by Dr Rebecca Macklin and Professor Bethany Wiggin. Intersecting Energy Cultures has been made possible with funding from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, Penn Global, and the Edinburgh Futures Institute. We are also grateful for the support of our International Advisory Board, who have helped to give life to this project.
In developing this project through the experimental rubric of the environmental humanities, we seek to explore the ways that arts-driven and humanistic methods of inquiry might enable us to carry out meaningful community-based, participatory research around historic, contemporary and future relations with sites of energy production. We believe that the arts and humanities offer valuable methods of engagement for participatory work and possible avenues for the co-production of knowledge with communities. We therefore prioritize the participation of researchers that are keen to develop new ways of integrating humanistic and arts-based research paradigms into energy research.
How do we define and understand the concept of community across diverse cultural contexts?
What methodological frameworks best enable us to examine the experiences of communities living in proximity to sites of energy production, across geographic and cultural borders?
How can the environmental humanities —and particularly arts-driven methods— support environmental justice advocacy in sites of energy (post-)production?
How can the outcomes of community-based arts-driven engagements inform decision-making in more formal policy arenas?
About our Project Teams:
About our Directors:
POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLAR, THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Rebecca Macklin is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She was previously Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, having obtained a PhD from the University of Leeds in 2020. She is in the final stages of writing her first book, Unsettling Fictions: Relationality and Resistance in Native American and South African Literatures, as well as developing new research on Indigenous literary and cultural engagements with resource extraction.
FACULTY DIRECTOR, PENN PROGRAM IN ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
Bethany Wiggin is the Founding Director of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, Professor of German and member of the Graduate Groups in Comparative Literature and English at the University of Pennsylvania, and the immediate past Co-President of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Her scholarship explores histories of migration, language, and cultural translation since the Columbian exchange across the north Atlantic world; she is currently completing Utopia Found and Lost in Penn’s Woods. She holds research to be a human right and regularly leads public research projects designed to connect academic and community expertise for environmental action. These projects have been supported by the National Geographic, Whiting, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundations and include: An Ecotopian Toolkit for the Anthropocene, Data Refuge, Futures Beyond Refining, and My Climate Story (selected). She has offered testimony about project findings to audiences ranging from school children, to the City Council of Philadelphia, the U.S. Congress, and UNESCO.