CFP: Definitions of Power: Units, Ideas, and Images in the History of Energy

The Energy History Project at the Joint Center for History and Economics is soliciting paper proposals for its upcoming workshop on *November 18th, 2011 at Harvard University.*

First Commercial Oil Well

This workshop is part of an ongoing series of events on the global and comparative history of energy.

The workshop seeks to explore changes in the depiction, understanding, and measurement of energy in the early modern and modern periods. How did people think about energy in relation to natural forces and economic processes? What were the competing ideas about the nature of energy and its relation to work? Why do we use the units we do today when quantifying energy and why were alternative units discarded? In considering questions such as these, the workshop also aims to examine how new ideas about society and political economy have, in turn, influenced the history of energy production and consumption as well as larger social and environmental processes. In order to promote discussions beyond national (and natural) borders, we encourage paper submissions on topics and case studies from around the globe.

The workshop will be preceded by a keynote lecture on the history of energy and sustainability in Europe by Dr. Paul Warde (University of East Anglia; Joint Center for History and Economics) on the afternoon of November 17th. The event itself will take place on Friday, November 18th, and will consist of three moderated panels and a concluding roundtable session with faculty from Harvard University and MIT.

The Energy History Project will help participants cover costs of travel and accommodation.

Please send paper proposals (up to 400 words) and a short bio by September 30, 2011 to the workshop organizers.

The first event in this series was a workshop entitled ‘Energy and Environment: A Global History’ and took place at the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) on April 22nd, 2011. The website for this event can be found here.

For more information contact Philipp Lehmann (plehmann @ fas dot harvard dot edu) or Victor Seow (seow @ fas dot harvard dot edu)