After Oil 2: Solarity Participant Biographies

Tomas Ariztía is a sociologist interested in researching and making low carbon transitions and alternative energy futures. He is Director of the Energy and Society Millennium Nucleus.

Joel Auerbach is an MA student in Communication Studies at McGill, currently working on the management of excess and uncertainty in California’s solar economy. He holds a BA in Cognitive Science with a Philosophy minor from Vassar College.

Nandita Badami is a doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. Her dissertation, on the emerging political logics of sunlight as a modern energy form, combines archival work on solar technologies with long term ethnographic research amongst solar energy practitioners in India.

Gretchen Bakke is a cultural anthropologist. Her work focuses on the chaos and creativity that emerge during social, cultural, and technological transitions. She is a former fellow in Wesleyan University’s Science in Society Program, a former Fulbright fellow, and is currently a guest professor at IRITHESys at Humboldt University. Her book The Grid was selected by Bill Gates as one of his top five reads of 2016.

Stacey Balkan is assistant professor of Environmental Literature and Humanities at Florida Atlantic University. Stacey’s teaching and research focus on postcolonial ecologies, environmental justice, landscape aesthetics, petrocultures and petromodernity, and Global South literatures.  

Darin Barney teaches communication studies at McGill University. His work concerns the politics of resource infrastructures, including energy infrastructures.

Louis Beaumier is executive director of the Institut de l’énergie Trottier, an open thinker about energy issues and committed to getting people to think in expansive ways about is possible.

Jessie Beier is a teacher, artist, writer and conjurer of strange pedagogies for the ‘end times’. As a PhD Student at the University of Alberta working at the intersection between philosophy, artistic production, and radical pedagogy, Beier’s research-creation practice explores the potential for weird pedagogy to mobilize a break from orthodox referents and habits of repetition, towards more eco-logical modes of thought.

Brent Ryan Bellamy studies and teaches science fiction, American literature and culture, and energy humanities and is coeditor of Materialism and the Critique of Energy.

Elena Bennett is a professor of sustainabilty science at McGill University.

Amanda Boetzkes is Professor of Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Guelph. She is the author of Plastic Capitalism: Contemporary Art and the Drive to Waste (MIT Press, 2019) and The Ethics of Earth Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2010).

Dominic Boyer is Professor of Anthropology and Founding Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS) at Rice University.

Lev Bratishenko curates public programs at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. 

Kirby Calvert is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Guelph, where his research program is best described as three interwoven threads encompassing renewable energy mapping, changing energy landscapes, and community energy planning. He is also the Co-Director of the Community Energy Knowledge-Action Partnership (CEKAP); a national partnership of universities and non-academic partners which aims to facilitate local climate change mitigation and resilience building through community energy planning.

Angela V. Carter (Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo) has researched environmental policy regimes surrounding oil extraction in Canada’s primary oil producing provinces (Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan). Her recent publications focus on government policy approaches and social movement opposition to fracking and on variation in provincial oil sector emissions policy. She is now extending this work in an international comparative project on recent fossil fuels extraction bans — the rising “keep it in the ground” policy movement.

Ian Clarke is a printmaker, book-artist, photographer and stem-cell biologist and Interim Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at OCAD University (Toronto). His research at OCAD University focuses on Sustainable Design, Urban Ecology and Urban Agriculture

Brayden Culligan is a clean energy professional with a focus on strategic communication and policy advocacy. Pairing multimedia and public relations, he helps effectively communicate complex information to key stakeholders.Prior to joining Dunsky Energy Consulting, he worked with sustainability research groups at McGill University and Aalborg University, as well as various policy organizations across Canada.

Nathan Curry has a PhD in electrical engineering with a specialization in renewable energy technologies and waste-to-energy systems. He currently works for Terragon Environmental Technologies as the Director of Business Development for Remote Habitats, bringing small-scale, decentralized, waste and water treatment solutions to remote locations around the world.

Heather Davis is an assistant professor of Culture and Media at the New School. She is the co-editor of Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments and Epistemologies (Open Humanities Press, 2015) and is currently working on a manuscript titled Plastic: The Afterlife of Oil.

Tommy Davis is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University. He is the author of The Extinct Scene: Late Modernism & Everyday Life (Columbia UP 2016). He is writing a new book called The Cultural Lives of Climate Change that examines the intersections of attachment, aesthetics, and political struggle.

Ashley Dawson is Professor of English at the Graduate Center/CUNY and the College of Staten Island. Currently completing work on a book entitled The Energy Commons: Global Struggles for Energy Democracy and Just Transition, he is the author of two recent books on topics relating to the environmental humanities, Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change (Verso, 2017), and Extinction: A Radical History (O/R, 2016).

Jeff Diamanti teaches Literary and Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. His book in progress is titled Terminal Landscapes: Climate, Energy Culture and the Infrastructures of Postindustrial Capital.

Kim Förster is member of the Manchester Architecture Research Group and Lecturer in Architectural Studies at the University of Manchester

Yuriko Furuhata teaches in East Asian Studies and Art History & Communication Studies at McGill University. She is the author of Cinema of Actuality: Japanese Avant-Garde Filmmaking in the Season of Image Politics (Duke UP, 2013), and is currently working on a book, tentatively titled A Transpacific Genealogy of Environmental Media.

Emilee Gilpin is a journalist with National Observer, leading the ‘First Nations Forward’ series, dedicated to stories of sustainable energy solutions, success and self-determination in First Nations communities across B.C. Emilee identifies as a Michif (mixed) nomad who practices relationship-based reporting and indigenizing media in her work.

Derek Gladwin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Language & Literacy Education and a Sustainability Fellow at the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia.

Emily Grubby is getting her MA in the Environmental Arts and Humanities from Oregon State University. Her thesis is on the efficacy of care ethics as moral ground for enacting just energy transition. She will be defending her thesis just one week before Solarity!

Gökçe Günel is Assistant Professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, and has affiliations with the School of Anthropology and the School of Geography and Development. Her first book Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change, and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi (Duke University Press, 2019) focuses on the construction of renewable energy and clean technology infrastructures in the United Arab Emirates, more specifically concentrating on the Masdar City project.

Shane Gunster teaches and researches in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, and his interests include communication around the politics of climate and energy.

Mette High works on issues of money, energy and climate change, with a particular interest in how oil valuations relate to political reforms and new climate economic initiatives.

Mél Hogan is an Assistant Professor in the Communication, Media and Film Department at the University of Calgary. Her research is the social implications and environmental impacts of data storage.

Cymene Howe is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Rice University, researching cryo and hydrospheres and other-than-human conditions in precarious ecoworlds.

Matthew Hunter teaches at McGill University.

Mirra-Margarita Ianeva is a Master’s student in Art History at McGill University with an interest in contemporary figurations of labor, space and objects in circulation.

Eva-Lynn Jagoe is an Associate Professor in Comparative Literature and Latin American Studies at University of Toronto.

Rebecca Jahns is a recent Master’s graduate from the University of Guelph in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, with my research focusing on participatory mapping and community engagement in the spatial planning of renewable energy resources. She is currently working with her supervisor, Dr. Kirby Calvert, and their research team on two projects which involve the creation and execution of an ‘energy mapping toolkit’ aimed at helping municipalities across Canada plan for further renewable energy implementation.

Bob Johnson is an energy critic, and an environmental and cultural historian

Danika Jorgensen-Skakum is the Research Coordinator for Just Powers, led by Dr. Sheena Wilson. She studies death and the aesthetics of compost in the context of the Anthropocene.

Jordan B. Kinder is a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow and PhD Candidate at the University of Alberta, and a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta. He studies the cultural politics of energy, media, and environment.

Aaron Kirkey is an M.Sc. student in Chemistry at the University of Alberta. His work is focused on a specific type of next-generation photovoltaics known as organic photovoltaics.

Burç Köstem is a PhD student in Communication Studies at McGill University. He is interested in political economy, the politics of new materialism and infrastructure studies. He is currently working on a project that explores the political economy and ecology of infrastructure in Turkey, as well as investigating contemporary media practices around plants and cut-flowers.

Melina Laboucan-Massimo is Cree from Northern Alberta. She is a David Suzuki fellow and a TV host for “Power to the People”.

Maize Longboat is Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) from Six Nations of the Grand River and was raised in the unceded traditional Coast Salish territory near Vancouver, BC. He is a Media Studies Master’s student in the Communication Studies Department at Concordia University in Montreal, QC and a research assistant with Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF).

Maize Longboat is Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) from Six Nations of the Grand River and was raised in the unceded traditional Coast Salish territory near Vancouver, BC. He is a Media Studies Master’s student in the Communication Studies Department at Concordia University in Montreal, QC and a research assistant with Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF).

Graeme Macdonald is Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. He researches and teaches in the field of Energy Humanities and is presently CI on the FORMAS Research Project: “Climaginaries”.

Jenni Matchett is a Master in Design Studies (Critical Conservation) candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her work attempts to turn down the hegemonic inertia of neoliberal logic as it relates to renewable energy deployment and other forms of climate action.

Laurence Miall is the Director of Public Affairs and Audience Engagement at the McConnell Foundation, overseeing communications activities and strategy. He is a published novelist (Blind Spot, NeWest Press) and has worked as a freelance journalist.

Elizabeth (Liz) Miller is a documentary maker and professor in Communication Studies at Concordia University, interested in new approaches to community collaborations and documentary as a way to connect personal stories to larger social concerns. Her films on timely issues such as water privatization, gender & environmental justice, and climate resilience have won international awards, been integrated into educational curricula and influenced decision makers.

Dr. Amelia Moore is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California Berkeley and her B.A. in Environmental Biology from Columbia University. She approaches her research areas through the adaptive lens of feminist studies of science, building bridges between critical theories of social difference, anthropology, post- and de-colonial studies, political ecology, and the socioecological sciences.

Simon Orpana is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. His project, The Petrocultures of Everyday Life, uses graphic narrative to investigate the cultural politics of imagining a future less dependent on fossil fuels.

Claire Ravenscroft is a grad student worker in the English department at Duke University. Her dissertation, Fossil Capitalist Realism: Petrofiction, Climate Change and the Endless Twentieth Century, identifies the essential role played by fossil fuels in late capitalist aesthetics, where energy and realist narrative cooperate to delineate the horizon of political possibility in climate change’s approach.

Shirley Roburn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at York University. She researches the public storytelling strategies used by indigenous communities and their civil society allies in order to reframe controversies over energy infrastructure development in terms of issues of land and water, food, and cultural sovereignty.

Rafico Ruiz is Associate Director of Research at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. He was recently a SSHRC Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta.

Mark Simpson teaches in English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, where he investigates US culture, energy humanities, and mobility studies.

Nicole Starosielski is Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. She is author of The Undersea Network, and co-editor of Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructure, Sustainable Media: Critical Studies of Media and Environment, and the Elements book series at Duke University Press.

Imre Szeman is University Research Chair and Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo.

Hannah Tollefson is a PhD student in Communication Studies at McGill. Informed by environmental humanities and media and technology studies, her research examines infrastructure and environment, with a focus on extraction, logistics, and energy in the context of Canadian settler colonial resource economies.

Deborah Vanslet is a Montreal videographer.

Ayesha Vemuri is a PhD student in Communication Studies at McGill, working on feminist politics of infrastructure, flooding, and climate change in Assam, India.

Josefin Wangel is an undisciplined researcher from SLU in Sweden who use socio-material systems thinking, critical theory and speculative approaches to learn more about urban sustainability and energy systems.

Rachel Webb Jekanowski is an incoming Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at Memorial University (2019-2021). Her research focuses on histories of nontheatrical cinema, settler colonial land politics, future imaginaries, and cultures of energy in Canada. She received her PhD in Film and Moving Studies from Concordia University.

Caleb Wellum is a historian working on a book about the 1970s energy crisis and neoliberal political culture. He is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo.

Jennifer Wenzel is a scholar of postcolonial theory and environmental and energy humanities at Columbia University.

Kyle Whyte is the Timnick Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. He is Potawatomi, and works on issues primarily pertaining to Indigenous peoples and environmental justice.

Rhys Williams is Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. His current project examines the how the tools of fantasy and speculation are used to think and frame energy.

Sheena Wilson is the co-director of the international Petrocultures Research Group, and research-lead on Just Powers. All her work and many research collaborations focused on climate justice and energy transition, reflect commitments to feminism and decolonization as method and praxis, as well as object of study.