Energy History

The Energy History Working Group will provide a showcase for works-in-progress within the field of energy history, globally conceived. There is strong interest for a dedicated group to discuss proposals, workshop papers, and share ideas within the field. Along with papers published in the Journal of Energy History, energy history papers and panels feature prominently at conferences such as American Society for Environmental History, Society for the History of Technology, Labor and Working Class History Association, and others. However, despite over two decades of growing interest, there are few dedicated venues for energy historians to gather and share work. This Working Group will help to fill this gap.
 
The working group meets at 1:30 PM Eastern Time on the first Friday of each month.

Please set your timezone at https://www.chstm.org/user

Consortium Respectful Behavior Policy

Participants at Consortium activities will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment that is free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.

Participants will avoid any inappropriate actions or statements based on individual characteristics such as age, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, nationality, political affiliation, ability status, educational background, or any other characteristic protected by law. Disruptive or harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is not limited to inappropriate or intimidating behavior and language, unwelcome jokes or comments, unwanted touching or attention, offensive images, photography without permission, and stalking.

Participants may send reports or concerns about violations of this policy to conduct@chstm.org.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Friday, January 7, 2022 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm EST

    Victor McFarland, “Breaking the Earth: The Story of Nuclear Fracking.”
     
    Brian Leech, “The Fastest Limit in the West: Energy, Safety, and the American West’s Fight against the National Maximum Speed Limit in the 1970s and 1980s.”


  • Friday, February 4, 2022 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm EST

    Ryan Jobson, “As a fire runs up a forest”: Counter-plantation futures and the Trinidad oil
    strike of 1937.”


  • Friday, March 4, 2022 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm EST

    Baasit Abubakr, “Currents of the Empire in South Asia: A History of Colonial Electrification in Jammu and Kashmir 1900-1947.”
     
    Gina Surita, “The Mysterious Muscle Machine, 1900–1930.”


  • Friday, April 1, 2022 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

    Jarrod Hore, “Reinventing a Supercontinent: Towards an Energy History of Gondwanaland.”
     
    Sarah Stanford-McIntyre, “Data Driven: Clerical Work, Geophysics, and the Rise of Computing in the American Oil Industry.”


  • Friday, May 6, 2022 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm EDT

    Michaela Rife, “Capturing Petroleum Publics: The Visual Culture of Oil on the Dust Bowl Plains.”
     
    Jordan Howell, Capital Be Dammed: Alcoa and the History of Hydroelectric Power in North America, 1890-1950.”



Past Meetings

  • December 3, 2021

    Covell Meyskens, “Building a Hydraulic Engine for Mao’s China in the Three Gorges
    Region.”
     
    Daniella Russ, “Energy Balances and the Politics of Oil Substitution.”


  • November 5, 2021

    Ashoka Vardhan, “Mining the Landscapes: Coal in Hyderabad State, c. 1871-1890.”
     
    Lorena Campuzano Duque, “Sick Mining Landscapes and the Quest of Healthy Miners,
                1930-1958.”


  • October 1, 2021

    Trish Kahle, Georgetown University Qatar, "'Confidence in Our System': How an Electric Utility Reconfigured Production and Consumption in a Deindustrializing Energy System." 


Group Conveners

  • brian.leech's picture

    Brian Leech

    Brian Leech is Associate Professor of History at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He is an environmental historian of North American regions with a focus on the history of natural resources, including mining, energy, and food. Leech is the author of The City That Ate Itself: Butte, Montana and Its Expanding Berkeley Pit (2018) and he is at work on two projects: a history of the portrayal of mining in popular culture and a history of speed limits in the American West.

     

  • Robert Lifset

    Robert Lifset is an Associate Professor of History in the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma. His books include Power on the Hudson, Storm King Mountain and The Emergence of Modern American Environmentalism (2014) and American Energy Policy in the 1970s (2014). Lifset is currently researching a history of the energy crisis of the 1970s. Robert Lifset is also the founding web and list editor of H-Energy (http://www.h-net.org/~energy/), an online, interdisciplinary website devoted to the study of energy history.

     

  • Sstanfordmcin's picture

    Sarah Stanford-McIntyre

    Sarah Stanford-McIntyre is an Assistant Professor in the Herbst Program for Engineering, Ethics & Society at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her book project, Natural Risk: An Environmental History of West Texas Oil and the Rise of Sunbelt Texas (Forthcoming, Columbia University Press), examines how oil workers responded to industry hazards and shaped Texas industrialization. She is co-editor of American Energy Cinema (West Virginia University Press), which historicizes American film depictions of the energy industries.
     
    She has also published on grain elevator disasters, oil industry labor battles, computing and geophysics, Texas hydroelectric development, and wind energy. She is beginning a second monograph on renewable energy development in the US Southwest.

     

67 Members