Imre Szeman, University of Waterloo, Canada "Eight Principles for a Critical Theory of Energy"

November 5, 2019 (Tuesday), at 16.00- 17.15

Imre Szeman,
“Eight Principles for a Critical Theory of Energy”
HELSUS Lounge, Porthania 244
Yliopistonkatu 3, 2 krs.

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

we kindly invite you to the next Helsinki University Environmental Humanities Forum onNovember 5, 2019 (Tuesday), at 16.00- 17.15 when Imre Szeman, University of Waterloo, Canada will give a talk “Eight Principles for a Critical Theory of Energy” at the HELSUS Lounge, Porthania 244, Yliopistonkatu 3, 2 krs.

Please kindly see Abstract and short Bio of Speaker below. Looking forward to meeting/seeing you soon! 

With kind wishes, Viktor Pál and Mikko Saikku


The ‘energy humanities’ has quickly developed into a field with which more and more scholars are aligning their research interests. The reasons are obvious: ever-increasing levels of energy use—especially fossil fuels—are having a deleterious impact on the environment, and so, too, on the lived realities of people across the planet. The reasons for energy use are connected to socio-cultural and political factors that need to be fully understood if there is to be any hope of a genuine energy transition. A hybrid, cross-disciplinary field of research, the energy humanities has to date positioned the human sciences in relation to energy without a clearly established research agenda or conceptual framing. This paper presents a series of founding principles for a field already in process, with the aim of giving researchers in the energy humanities a clear articulation of the scholarly and political commitments of the field.


Imre Szeman is University Research Chair and Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo. He conducts research on and teaches in the areas of energy humanities, environmental studies, critical and cultural theory, social and political philosophy, and Canadian studies. His most recent work has focused on energy humanities and petrocultures, with books including Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, and Culture (co-ed, 2017); Energy Humanities: An Anthology (co-ed, 2017); On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture, and Energy (2019) and Energy Culture: Art and Theory on Oil and Beyond (2019)