Equity in Energy

UC Santa Barbara’s Mellon Sawyer Seminar series presents events exploring energy justice throughout the fall and winter

As part of a yearlong examination of the all-encompassing topic of energy justice, UC Santa Barbara’s Mellon Sawyer Seminar will present events throughout the fall and winter quarters.

The Sawyer Seminar, which seeks to generate discussion about the problems and possibilities of existing energy systems in industrialized societies, is organized by UCSB faculty members Javiera Barandiaran, associate professor of global studiesMona Damluji, assistant professor of film and media studiesStephan Miescher, associate professor of historyDavid Pellow, Dehlsen Endowed Chair in environmental studies; and Janet Walker, professor of film and media studies. It is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

On Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m., the seminar will partner with the Carsey-Wolf Center for a screening of Academy Award-winning film “Harlan County, USA,” a 1976 documentary that follows a group of Kentucky coal miners and their wives as they strike for safer working conditions. Following the screening, Alice O’Connor, UCSB professor of history, will discuss the film’s themes and the history and future of coal mining with special guest Betsy Taylor, an anthropologist who works in Appalachian communities. The event is free and open to the public, though ticket reservations are recommended.

“Betsy Taylor’s work brings together social justice and development concerns with sustainability issues, including environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and sustainable livelihoods in general,” said Barandiaran. “She’s been working in Harlan County recently on the crafting of a sustainability plan for the county. Professor O’Connor, as a historian of 20th century American politics, in particular poverty and equality politics and outcomes in this country, will really be able to put the film and the discussion in a broader historical and national context.”

On Friday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the seminar will present a panel and discussion titled “Mediating Extraction,” that will explore the ways that film, photography and new media inform how industrial extraction and its consequences are witnessed and documented. The panel will feature Sharon Daniel, an artist, media activist and professor of film and digital media at UC Santa Cruz, Damluji, and Emily Roehl, a postdoctoral fellow and energy humanities scholar.

On Friday, Nov. 30, Energy Justice will sponsor a panel called “Through and Beyond the Politics of Carbon,” featuring Timothy Mitchell, professor of middle eastern, South Asian, and African studies at Columbia University. Time and place are still being determined.

For more information about all of the events organized as part of the Mellon Sawyer Seminar on energy justice in global perspective, visit http://www.global.ucsb.edu/energyjustice/events.

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