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Institute of Advanced Study

Dr Dominic Boyer and Dr Cymene Howe

COFUND Senior Research Fellows at Ustinov College, Durham University (April - June 2014)

Dr Dominic Boyer is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Rice University, USA. Dr Boyer is also a board member of Rice University’s recently established new E2I (Energy and Environment Initiative). His specific remit: transnational network building, is a key pillar of the initiative and Durham (with the DEI) has been identified as an ideal UK partner.

Dr Cymene Howe  is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology and Core Faculty in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, at Rice University in the USA. Dr Howe is also the founding member of the "Cultures of Energy" faculty working group at Rice and has been centrally involved in developing the proposal for the first research centre supporting energy and environmental research in the human sciences in the United States. Rice University is now poised to found this center (CENHS) in the coming months.

Under a joint Fellowship Boyer and Howe will work on three interconnected projects:

1) The development of a collaborative relationship between Durham and Rice University’s new E2I. The purposes of this relationship would be to lay the groundwork for future faculty and student exchanges between Durham and Rice, to explore common research interests and possibilities for knowledge transfer, and to facilitate the writing of grant proposals to further develop the Durham-Rice partnership over time.

2) The advising and support of Durham’s Anthropology Department’s newly-launched flagship MA in "Energy and Society". Through E2I, Boyer and Howe have valuable experience in terms of institution-building in energy studies. Given that there is no other MA program of its kind, it will potentially immediately make Durham’s Anthropology Department internationally visible and distinctive in the important new field of energy anthropology.

3) A collaboration with Prof Alexander (of Durham University) to further elaborate, develop and refine the "energopower" analytic paradigm. "Energopower" is a conceptual field that they have been developing to analyse the contribution of systems of energy (more specifically, electricity and fuel) to the organization and operation of political power. This Fellowship will extend their current collaboration on energopolitics as a Special Issue of Anthropological Quarterly.


“Durham offers one of the finest energy studies communities in the world.”

Dr Dominic Boyer & Dr Cymene Howe, Rice University Houston