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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


Our Lives with Electric Things

(20 December 2017)

"Our Lives with Electric Things" the latest Theorizing the Contemporary series, has now been published to the Cultural Anthropology website This series was inspired by discussions at a workshop held in Durham University in 2016 funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation. It is co-edited by DEI co-Director Professor Simone Abram.


Our Lives with Electric Things: A new collection of images and writing in the energy humanities offers a wealth of ideas about electricity. “Can we still imagine the possibility of lives without electric things?” 51 authors reflect on lives with electric things in the ‘Theorizing the Contemporary’ series of Cultural Anthropology. 

The workshop 'Electrifying Anthropology' was co-hosted by Durham Energy Institute and brought together anthropological scholars from around the world whose work is relevant to the study of electricity. The event also included a debate the 'Charge against Electricity' with a panel of leading energy industry represntatives and anthropologists asking if we can hold electricity responsible for the disempowerment of citizens and for the entrapment of their lives within a state-sponsored grid maintained by corporations? Or does it, on the contrary, hold the potential for emancipation?