Visiting Speakers

Betsy Taylor (Director, Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network / LiKEN)

Betsy Taylor works with communities on the front lines of global coal and timber extraction. She started her work as a cultural anthropologist in the West Virginia coal camps in the 1980s. In the 1990s and early 2000s, she realized how important a regional scale of analysis is to understand the intersection of global extractive economies with local struggles. In her years at the University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech, and Future Generations University, she initiated diverse community / scholarly collaborations for community-driven sustainable development in Appalachia and North East India. She directs the Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN), a link-tank to support democratic collaboratories of learning that build local livelihoods and wealth by facilitating exchange of knowledge and resources among communities, government and scholars. She and Herbert Reid co-authored Recovering the Commons: Democracy, Place, and Global Justice, (University of Illinois Press, 2010), and she publishes widely on social and environmental justice movements, participatory planning, energy transition, and the constitution of democratic public space to counter global economic space with place-based claims to embodied life. She served on the steering committee of the US Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI), from 2013-2017.

Alice O'Connor (Discussant, History, UCSB)

Alice O’Connor is a Professor of History and Director of the Blum Center for Global Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development at UCSB.  She teaches and writes about poverty and wealth, social and urban policy, the politics of knowledge, and the history of organized philanthropy in the United States.  Among her publications are Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy, and the Poor in Twentieth-Century U.S. History; Social Science for What? Philanthropy and the Social Question in a World Turned Rightside Up, and the co-edited volumes Beyond the New Deal Order (with Gary Gerstle and Nelson Lichtenstein); Urban Inequality: Evidence from Four Cities (with Chris Tilly and Lawrence Bobo); and Poverty and Social Welfare in the United States: An Encyclopedia (with Gwendolyn Mink).  Her work has appeared in a number of historical and interdisciplinary journals, including the Journal of Urban History, the Journal of Policy History, the Annual Review of Sociology, and the Du Bois Review.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Fund for Santa Barbara, a non-profit community foundation that supports grassroots organizations working for social, economic, environmental and political change in Santa Barbara County.

Sharon Daniel (Film and Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz)

Sharon Daniel is an artist and media activist who creates interactive and participatory documentaries, online archives, and interfaces that make the stories of marginalized and disenfranchised communities available across social, cultural, and economic boundaries. Daniel is a Professor of Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz and has exhibited in museums and festivals internationally. She has published broadly on topics ranging from interactive documentary to database aesthetics to public arts practice. As a participant in our “Mediating Extraction” symposium, Daniel presented “In the Fourth World: At the Frontier of Extractivism, Climate Change, and Colonization,” which addressed her work in progress, In the Fourth World. This digital media project documents the social, economic, and environmental challenges faced by the Inupiaq village of Kivalina, where coastal erosion due to climate change imperils the community. This work is a collaboration with the RE-LOCATE project, an artist-led initiative to draw attention to Kivalina and assist in the relocation process.

Jia-Ching Chen (Global Studies, UCSB)

Jia-Ching Chen is a scholar of urban, development, and environmental studies and Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was previously an Assistant Professor of Geography at Pennsylvania State University and a visiting research fellow at Brown University. Currently, his interests are in China's role in shaping the global green economy and the spread of Chinese planning expertise through its international development activities. He also has professional experience in social movements and organized labor. Dr. Chen received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in City & Regional Planning with a designated emphasis in Global Metropolitan Studies and outside fields in Geography and Anthropology. His dissertation, “ ‘The Green Leap Forward’: Environmentalization and Rural-Urban Transformation in Contemporary China,” looked at large, government-sponsored green urban planning projects in the city of Yixing in Jiangsu province, and how those projects effected the dispossession of large numbers of people. He has given publicly available talks on China’s renewable energy development programs for the Cornell Contemporary China Initiative and the American University in Beirut.

Hannah Appel (Anthropology, UCLA)

Hannah Appel is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UCLA. She earned her PhD in anthropology from Stanford in 2011. Her first book, The Licit Life of Capitalism: U.S. Oil in Equatorial Guinea (forthcoming, Duke UP, 2019), is both an account of a specific capitalist project—US oil companies working off the shores of Equatorial Guinea—and an exploration of more general forms and processes—the offshore, contracts, infrastructures, “the” economy—that facilitate diverse capitalist projects around the world. These forms and processes, she argues, constitute the licit life of capitalism, the legally sanctioned capitalism that nonetheless takes shape within the raced and gendered histories of colonialism, empire, and white supremacy out of which capitalism emerged. Hannah is at work on a second long-term ethnographic project on African owned and capitalized Pan African Banks. She is also a founding member and organizer of The Debt Collective and has been an active participant in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. She has written and spoken about debt, global finance capitalism, debt strikes and debtors’ unions.

Timothy Mitchell (Discussant, William B. Ransford Professor of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, Columbia University)

Timothy Mitchell is a political theorist and historian. His areas of research include the place of colonialism in the making of modernity, the material and technical politics of the Middle East, and the role of economics and other forms of expert knowledge in the government of collective life. Much of his current work is concerned with ways of thinking about politics that allow material and technical things more weight than they are given in conventional political theory. Educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he received a first-class honours degree in History, Mitchell completed his Ph.D. in Politics and Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in 1984. He joined Columbia University in 2008 after teaching for twenty-five years at New York University, where he served as Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies. At Columbia he teaches courses on the history and politics of the Middle East, colonialism, and the politics of technical things. His first two books, Colonising Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 1988; UC Press 1991), and Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-politics, Modernity (University of California Press, 2002) traced the history of technocratic government in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Egypt and the creation of the modern set of institutions, relations, and practices called “the economy.” His most recent book, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil (Verso Books, 2011), looks at the connections between democratic politics in wealthy oil-consuming countries and authoritarian regimes in oil-producing countries, contributing a radical critique of the commonplace notions of the origins and values of liberal democratic politics.

Brenda Longfellow (Cinema & Media Arts, York University)

Brenda Longfellow is Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema & Media Arts at York University and was an artist in residence at the Squire Foundation in Santa Barbara during the month of January, 2019. As the artist in residence of our “Beyond the Spill” symposium, Brendan presented OFFSHORE, an interactive web documentary that explores the dark waters of the global offshore oil industry in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. OFFSHORE was co-directed with with Glen Richards and Helios Design Lab, and funded by the SSHRC.  Longfellow's documentaries have been screened and broadcast internationally, winning prestigious awards including the Audience Award for Best Experimental Film for Dead Ducks at the Santa Cruz Film Festival (2011); a Bronze Remi Award for Weather Report at the Houston Film Festival (2008); Best Cultural Documentary for Tina in Mexico at the Havana International Film Festival (2002); a Canadian Genie for Shadowmaker / Gwendolyn MacEwen, Poet (1998); and the Grand Prix at Oberhausen for Our Marilyn (1988).

Imre Szeman (University Research Chair and Professor of Communication Arts, University of Waterloo)

Imre Szeman is the University Research Chair and Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo. His main areas of research are in energy and environmental studies, social and political philosophy, and critical theory and cultural studies. As the keynote speaker for our “Beyond the Spill” symposium, Imre presented a work in progress entitled “Imagining Futures.” At Waterloo, he teaches and is conducting research on environmental communication, energy justice, literary and critical theory, and cultural studies. He is the founder of the Canadian Association of Cultural Studies and a founding member of the US Cultural Studies Association. Furthermore, Imre is also co-founder of the Petrocultures Research Group and the founder and director of Banff Research in Culture. He is the author or editor of a number of field-shaping texts in the energy humanities, including Energy Humanities: An Anthology; Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture; and After Oil.

Roberta Reyes Cordero (Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award Recipient)

Roberta Reyes Cordero is an Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award Recipient and a member of the Coastal band of the Chumash Nation. Roberta has a JD from the University of Washington School of Law. She is a conflict management trainer, mediator, and facilitator. Roberta was born and raised in Santa Barbara and is deeply engaged in the revitalization of Chumash indigenous culture. As a participant in our “Beyond the Spill” symposium, Roberta presented on a panel entitled “Indigenizing our Worldview.” She has vigorously advocated for tribal participation in policy-making and public processes affecting the environment for many years. In 2014, she received the distinguished Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award, given to indigenous leaders for dedication to their culture and work to improve the economic and environmental conditions of their homelands and people.

Mia Lopez (Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, Cultural Representative and Educator)

Mia Lopez is a cultural representative and educator, former tribal chair, and member of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation. She is registered with the Native American Heritage Commission as the Most Likely Descendant to protect sacred Chumash sites and villages in the city of Santa Barbara and around the county. As a participant in our “Beyond the Spill” symposium, Roberta presented on a panel entitled “Indigenizing our Worldview.” Lopez serves on the board of directors for the Chumash Maritime Association and the American Indian Health & Services clinic, and she is a frequent guest lecturer at UC Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College. During the 2016-17 academic year, she served as the cultural consultant to the Sacred Art in the Age of Contact art exhibit shown concurrently at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum (UCSB) and the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. In May 2017, Lopez helped organize the Water is Life: Standing With Standing Rock conference at UCSB and in November 2017, Lopez was recognized by the UCSB American Indian Student Association for her academic contributions to campus. When Lopez is not in the classroom, she is working with her community on a revitalization project for the šmuwič Chumash language, in which she sings, alongside other members of the Chumash Family Singers group, which includes her three children.

Bhavna Shamasunder (Urban and Environmental Policy, Occidental College)

Bhavna Shamasunder is an Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy at Occidental College. Bhavna teaches and conducts research at the intersection of environmental health and justice with a focus on inequalities faced by low-income communities and communities of color who live and work in urban and/or industrial environments. As a participant in our “Beyond the Spill” symposium, Bhavna presented on a panel focused on Oil Infrastructure and Policy in California. She is currently working on a project on environmental justice impacts from oil extraction and new unconventional drilling practices in Los Angeles. She recently co-published an article about this research entitled “Community-Based Health and Exposure Study around Urban Oil Developments in South Los Angeles”. She is also working a project focused on the environmental injustice of beauty entitled “Taking Stock: Product Use Among Black and Latina Women” which is funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program. Her co-PI on this project is Black Women for Wellness.

Teresa Sabol Spezio (Environmental Analysis, Pitzer College)

Teresa Sabol Spezio is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pitzer College. Teresa’s research interests involve the historical relationship between humans and human-created industrial pollution. In her projects, she is engaged by humans’ reactions to the presence of industrial chemicals and oil in their communities. As a participant in our “Beyond the Spill” symposium, Teresa presented on a panel focused on Oil Infrastructure and Policy in California. Her current research project explores the intersections of environmental risk, environmental contamination, and environmental justice. Specifically, she is interested in the practice of the remediation of uncontrolled hazardous waste sites in the United States. Her first book, Slick Policy: Environmental and Science Policy in the Aftermath of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill, was published in 2018 by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Teresa was a Rachel Carson Center fellow and is a licensed professional engineer who has worked in the environmental field.

Emily Williams (NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Geography, UCSB, 350 Santa Barbara)

Emily Williams is a graduate student and National Science Foundation (NSF) fellow (Graduate Research Fellowship Program) in Geography at UCSB where she is part of the Climate Hazards Group (CHG). She is also a member of 350 Santa Barbara, a co-founder of the Climate Justice Project, and part of the Fossil Free UC Alumni Core Team. As a participant in our “Beyond the Spill” symposium, Emily led a workshop on localizing action, focused on how to get involved in opposition to the 750+ proposed new onshore oil wells in Santa Barbara County. She did her undergraduate work at UCSB, graduating in 2013 with a B.S in environmental studies. While at UCSB, she was heavily involved in scholar activism: she interned for two summers with the NASA DEVELOP National Program at Ames Research Center, conducted her senior thesis on quantifying the external costs of coal and relating them to UCSB’s investment policy, and cofounded the Fossil Free UC campaign.

Todd Darling (Independent Filmmaker)
HYDRO SYMPOSIUM | February 14-15, 2019 

Todd Darling is an independent filmmaker and a contributor to Media Bridge Dispatch . Todd is the director and producer of acclaimed feature documentary Occupy the Farm (2014). As a participant in our Hydro Symposium, he screened two excerpts from, and facilitated discussion about, his film Two Rivers. Two Rivers is a film about the Klamath and Missouri Rivers and Indigenous defense of their water against outside industries. Todd also directed Black Rok Horse (2012) a 30-minute film about the jagged, yet comic efforts to create an art project at Burning Man, and A Snow Mobile for George (2009), a Netflix/Bull Frog Films feature documentary about the human consequences of environmental de-regulation. He has won the Eric Sevareid Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his first nationally broadcast documentary, “Año Nuevo.” Prior to film and television, he worked as a freelance journalist covering stories in Europe, the US and Mexico.

Mishuana Goeman (Tonawanda Band of Seneca, Gender Studies, UCLA)
HYDRO SYMPOSIUM | February 14-15, 2019 

Mishuana Goeman is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies at UCLA. Mishuana is author of Mark my Words: Native Women (Re)mapping our Nation. She is chair of the American Indian Studies Interdepartmental Program and Associate Director of American Indian Studies Research Center at UCLA. As a participant in our Hydro Symposium, Mishuana presented forthcoming work on Niagara Falls, the first site of hydroelectric energy generation in North America. Her presentation focused on hydroelectric damming, colonial violence, heteronormativity, and tourism. Her work involves thinking through colonialism, geography, and literature in ways that generate anti-colonial tools in the struggle for social justice.

Valerie Häensch (Institute of Social and Cultural Anthopology, LMU Munich)
HYDRO SYMPOSIUM | February 14-15, 2019 

Valerie Häensch is a lecturer at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at LMU Munich. Valerie conducts research at the intersection of visual and media anthropology, infrastructures/technology, and environmental politics/movements. She is currently involved in a research project on dam-caused displacement in Sudan. As a participant in our Hydro Symposium, Valerie screened footage from her work in Sudan, and conducted a discussion about dam-caused displacement. Previously, she created the film Sifinja: The Iron Bride out of her research about mobility, human creativity, and technology in the Sudanese truck repair community. In 2017, Valerie was awarded the Frobenius Society's Research Award for the best anthropological dissertation in Germany.

R. Lane Clark (Independent Filmmaker)
HYDRO SYMPOSIUM | February 14-15, 2019 

R. Lane Clark is is a filmmaker and visual artist. Over the past twenty years, Clark has directed, shot, and/or edited over a dozen art and documentary films, mostly in African contexts. After traveling to West Africa for the first time, he completed his MFA in Time-Arts and Painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992. He was then awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to work in Ghana for two years on documentaries about Akan culture. Ghana has become a second home to Clark, and he frequently returns to work on documentaries and to teach. In 2009 he completed two films interrogating the concepts of health and wellbeing among women and girls in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. As a participant in our Hydro Symposium, he presented about and screened parts of his documentary mini-series Ghana’s Electric Dreams, about the building of Ghana’s Akosombo Dam. R. Lane Clark teaches painting, documentary, and artistic practice in a variety of educational and therapeutic settings, believing the process of encouraging artistic exploration with students to be stimulating, healing, and meaningful.

Jennifer Carlson (Society for the Humanities Sustainability Fellow, Cornell University)
SOLAR ARRAY | March 1, 2019

Jennifer Carlson is a cultural anthropologist specializing in the energy humanities. Her research focuses on the relationship between energy infrastructure, public feeling, and environmental action, particularly in the U.S. and Germany. Her book project, Unruly Energies (forthcoming from Duke University Press), shows how sentiment shapes public engagement with and surprising forms of exclusion from sustainable development in the Energiewende, a national transition to renewable energy. As a participant in our Solar Array symposium, Jennifer presented on her research about Germany’s transition to renewable energy. In addition to lecturing in anthropology at Southwestern University, Jennifer is a visiting research fellow at Rice University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences, and recently held a Carson Writing Fellowship at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich.

Joshua Kirshner (Department of Environment and Geography, University of York)
SOLAR ARRAY | March 1, 2019

Joshua Kirshner is a Lecturer in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, UK. Joshua has carried out extensive field research in southern Africa and Latin America, on large-scale infrastructure, extractive industries, commodity frontiers, off-grid energy, low carbon transitions, transnational cooperation in energy systems, urbanization, migration and social exclusion. His research focuses on the links between development, spatial planning, energy systems and the politics of urban change. As part of our Solar Array Symposium, Joshua presented on sustainable transitions an energy justice in Mozambique. He is Co-investigator on a British Academy-funded project (2016-2018) that examines electricity and fuel access in urban Mozambique. He is also Co-investigator on a project that explores the social impacts and co-production of knowledge around new bio-refineries in northern Brazil, supported by the British Academy’s Knowledge Frontiers programme.

Dustin Mulvaney (Environmental Studies, San Jose State University)
SOLAR ARRAY | March 1, 2019

Dustin Mulvaney is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies. His research focuses on the social and environmental dimensions of food and energy systems. Before beginning his PhD in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, Mulvaney worked as an engineer at a bioremediation company aimed at cleaning chemical spill sites. He has worked with the Sierra Club, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, and other non-profit environmental groups. In addition to publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals, he has written for The Guardian, National Geographic, Mother Jones, the Los Angeles Times, and several other publications. Since 2008, his primary focus has been on energy commodity chains with an emphasis on the solar industry, which is synthesized in his forthcoming book Solar Power: Innovation, Sustainability, and Environmental Justice (UC Press 2019). From 2016-2017 he was a visiting scholar at the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University.

Lisa Parks (Comparative Media Studies, MIT)
SOLAR ARRAY | March 1, 2019 

Lisa Parks is Professor of Comparative Media Studies and Director of the Global Media Technologies and Cultures Lab at MIT, and a recent recipient of the 2018 MacArthur Fellowship. She received her PhD in Communication Arts, Telecommunications and Media Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in 1998. Over her career she has published widely on satellite technology, drone surveillance, and media infrastructures. She will be sharing findings related to a project called Energizing Media based on fieldwork in rural, low-income communities in Tanzania and Zambia. Her most recent publication is Rethinking Media Coverage: Vertical Mediation and the War on Terror (Routledge 2018) in which she describes how media infrastructures have been integral to U.S. attempts to reassert global hegemony over airwaves and airspace since 9/11. From 1998 to 2017 she was a professor at the Department of Film and Media Studies at UCSB. She has also taught at the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, USC, the University of Pennsylvania, and McGill University.

Rudo A. Sanyanga (Africa Program Director, International Rivers)

Rudo Sanyanga is an aquatic ecologist who joined International Rivers in 2011 to be the Africa Program Director. Rudo leads International Rivers campaigns to stop proposed destructive dams on the continent. She is an advocate for conservation of rivers and promotes adoption of clean renewable energy technologies. Rudo has years of experience on Southern Africa’s rivers and has witnessed the socio-economic impacts of dams on communities during her ten years working at Kariba dam and on the Zambezi River as an aquatic ecologist. In her career spanning over twenty-five years, Rudo has conducted aquatic ecology research, lectured at the University of Zimbabwe, of Bindura and at Whitman College. As a lecturer she has taught freshwater ecology courses, environmental sciences, water resource management and Environmental Impact Assessment methodology. Since joining International Rivers Rudo has worked with the Africa team on the Gibe II/ Lake Turkana campaign, on the Zambezi basin climate studies, Lesotho Highlands resettlement issues and the Inga 3 campaign. Alongside her teaching and advocacy, she has contributed to the production of several research documents. She holds a Ph.D. in Aquatic Systems Ecology from Stockholm University, a Masters of Science in Applied Hydrobiology from the University of Wales, Cardiff and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Zimbabwe.

Kyle Powys Whyte (Timnick Chair in the Humanities, Michigan State University)

Kyle Powys Whyte is the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University and is a Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability. He is a faculty member of the Environmental Philosophy & Ethics graduate concentration and the Geocognition Research Lab, and a faculty affiliate of the American Indian & Indigenous Studies and Environmental Science & Policy programs.  He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and his work focuses on climate and environmental justice and Indigenous environmental studies. His research, teaching, training, and activism address moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and climate science organizations, as well as settler colonial theory and Indigenous food sovereignty. He is involved in many community-based efforts, including the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, Tribal Climate Camp, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Humanities for the Environment, and the Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering. Dr. Powys Whyte’s writing appears in journals such as Climatic Change, Daedalus, Sustainability Science, Hypatia, Synthese, and Human Ecology and in collections published by Oxford University Press, Routledge, and Cambridge University Press.

Dominic Boyer (Anthropology, Rice University)

Dominic Boyer is a Professor at Rice University and is the director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences. He is an anthropologist specializing in the study of energy, climate, politics and society. Some of his work may be found in publications such as Cultural Anthropology, Public Culture (With Cymene Howe) and Anthropological Quarterly. With Dr. Cymene Howe, Dr. Boyer recently completed a large NSF-funded field research project on the political culture of wind power in Southern Mexico. The product of their collaboration is a duograph, “a combination of two single-authored books that draw on shared field sites, archives, and encounters,” entitled Wind and Power in the Anthropocene. Dr. Boyer is currently researching competing models of electricity provision and their social implications in Europe, the United States and Latin America. Dr. Boyer is also the co-host and producer of the Cultures of Energy Podcast series.

Cymene Howe (Anthropology, Rice University)

Cymene Howe is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Social Sciences, at Rice University, Dr. Cymene Howe’s forthcoming book, Ecologics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene (Duke University Press 2019), is based on a collaborative research project (with Dominic Boyer) in Oaxaca, Mexico and focuses on the political and social contingencies of renewable energy development. Her research is concerned with the ways that ecological authority is constituted as well as how anthropogenic climate change calls for new ways of imagining our collective biotic and material futures. She also has a longstanding interest in the overlapping conversations between feminist and queer theory, new materialisms and more-than-human being. Her more recent research examines the social life of ice in the Arctic, specifically, in Iceland. Her work has been published in journals such as The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Distinktion, and Anthropological Quarterly, Cultural Anthropology.

Dena Montague (ÉnergieRich)

Dr. Dena Montague earned her PhD in Political Science at UCLA and is a Research Associate at the Global Environmental Justice Project and the Center for Black Studies Research at UC Santa Barbara. She uses data science to tackle challenges related to economic and social inequality and to promote environmental justice. Dr. Montague has conducted research in several African countries including Nigeria, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, as well as extensive research in Paris. She has documented the impact of extractive sector management on democracy, development and human rights.  Dr. Montague is also the Co-Founder of ÉnergieRich, an award winning social enterprise working with engineers and entrepreneurs in Africa and the African Diaspora to develop sustainable, innovative clean energy solutions and democratize engineering education for low-income communities. Her research and writing appears in French Cultural Studies, Sociological Focus, and The Earth Island Journal.

Boureima Kabre (ÉnergieRich)

Boureima Kabre is a leader in advancing solar access for rural communities in West Africa. Boureima Kabre co-founded ÉnergieRich and has over twenty years of experience working in rural development in Burkina Faso. He is committed to implementing strategies for sustainable development and is well known in his community of Kouittenga Province and throughout Burkina Faso for his tireless work empowering rural communities through the use of renewable energy.   Mr. Kabre has written many detailed socio-economic studies on the use of energy and potential of energy access in rural areas of Burkina Faso. Mr. Kabre was honored by Powéo of France with their 2009 Grand Prize, for his important work expanding solar access.  He holds a Masters in Social Sciences and Economics from Institut Catholique de Paris.

Austin Dziwornu Ablo (Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana) 

Austin Dziwornu Ablo is a researcher, activist, and lecturer in the Department of Geography and Resource Development at the University of Ghana. His research is on oil and gas extraction particularly with regards to employment  in Ghana has received funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York under the BANGA-Africa initiative. More broadly, he studies natural resource governance, urban studies, entrepreneurship, agriculture and rural development. He teaches courses on sustainable agriculture, land use theories and practice, human geography, and resource analysis. His work is published in journals such as Energy Research and Social Science, Geoforum, and The Journal of Modern African Studies.

Sofia Avila (Polotical Ecology and Ecological Economics, Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Sofia Avila is a PhD candidate and scholar in Political Ecology and Ecological Economics at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona (ICTA-UAB). Her research focuses on the social and biophysical dimensions of renewable energy production and distributional dimensions of energy transition strategies. She is developing her project under the lens of ecological economics, political ecology and the possibilities of alternative energy futures. Before starting her PhD, she completed a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability (ICTA-UAB) and a Bachelor Degree in International Relations (National Autonomous University of Mexico). At ICTA-UAB she is a part of the Environmental Justice research team. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Mesoamerican Society of Ecological Economics and the collective, Research and Degrowth. Her research appears in Sustainability Science and the Journal of Political Ecology.

Tristan Partridge (Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Autonomous University of Barcelona) 

Tristan Partridge is an anthropologist and Research Fellow at Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB). With expertise in the study of the relationship between socio-environmental inequalities and energy systems across multiple geographic settings, such as the United Kingdom, Ecuador, the United States, and India (including indigenous and rural communities), Dr. Partridge’s work explores the various ways in which natural resources are extracted and used in communities and how local residents respond and often seek to preempt such activities. He is one of the emerging leaders in the field of energy justice studies.  Dr. Partridge is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence at ICTA. He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh (UK) and an MSc in Global Movements, Social Justice and Sustainability from the University of Glasgow (UK). Before moving to ICTA, Tristan worked on the NSF-funded collaborative project “Energy, Risk, and Urgency” based at the University of California, Santa Barbara (USA) where he maintains affiliation as a Research Fellow. His work can be found in publications such as Energy Research and Social Sciences, Environmental Values, Journal of Political Ecology, and Global Environmental Change.

Ranjit Deshmukh (Environmental Studies, UCSB) 

Ranjit Deshmukh is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies department at the University of California Santa Barbara. Ranjit’s research interests lie at the intersection of energy, environment, and economics, specifically in low carbon energy systems, clean energy access, and electricity markets. Prior to joining the University of California Santa Barbara, Ranjit was an ITRI-Rosenfeld postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Ranjit holds a PhD in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley, master’s degrees in Engineering from Humboldt State University and University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s degree from the Government College of Engineering Pune, India. He was a Siebel Scholar and a Link Energy fellow while at UC Berkeley and a Schatz Energy fellow at Humboldt State University.

ann-elise lewallen (East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, UCSB) 

ann-elise lewallen is a professor in the department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies and an affiliate professor in Environmental Studies and in Anthropology at UCSB. Her research focuses on critical indigenous studies, energy policy, gender studies, intersectionality, and environmental justice in the context of contemporary Japan and India in addition to ethnographic research ethics and issues of knowledge construction in relation to host communities. Dr. lewallen’s current research investigates how discourses of science and politics shape development policy and impact indigenous sovereignty in transnational relationships between India and Japan. Her second major book project, In Pursuit of Energy Justice: Embodied Solidarity in India and Japan, focuses on this subject. Her research has been generously supported by the Social Science Research Council’s Abe Fellowship, the Fulbright Program, the Hellman Family Fund, the UC Center for New Racial Studies, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Japanese Ministry of Education, the Northeast Asia Council and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Council.