Eurograd message

Message posted on 18/01/2020

Reminder - EASA2020 Panel: At the grid edge: homes, neighbourhoods and energy markets

Dear Colleagues,

Apologies for cross-posting!

This email is the reminder of the deadline to submit abstracts of paper
proposals to our panel ‘*P020: At the grid edge: homes, neighbourhoods and
energy markets *(Energy Anthropology Network panel)’ at the 16th EASA
conference “New anthropological horizons in and beyond Europe” (EASA2020
) in Lisbon,
Portugal, 21-24 July 2020.

We welcome empirical, theoretical or applied contributions and
cross-disciplinary perspectives. We have received a very positive response
to develop the selected papers towards a Special Issue for a leading
energy-focused journal.

If you are interested in participating to the panel, please submit your
abstract (max. 250 words) to the online form by 20 January 2020:

Short Abstract

Across Europe ‘the grid edge’, as instantiated in distributed,
decentralised and off-grid energy systems, is emerging as a space for
innovation and market experimentation. Our panel establishes it as a
crucial site for anthropological inquiry and explores ways to both critique
and intervene in it.

Long Abstract

Across Europe the grid edge has become a site of innovation,
experimentation and legal exception. Extra-regulatory markets such as
peer-to-peer energy trading are being trialled. Algorithms and control
systems are being piloted to automate household appliances. Communities are
becoming virtual power plants. The emerging distributed, decentralised, and
off-grid energy systems profoundly challenge the universalist logic of
national energy infrastructures and create an urgent role for
anthropological knowledge.

Anthropologists are entering these spaces to critique and to intervene.
They question the assumptions supporting energy market construction and
bring attention to non-market perspectives. They interrogate the inter- and
intra-household dynamics that are created and destabilised as new flows of
energy interact with existing gender, class and power relations. They
examine the ethics, moralities, and values that are implicated and invoked.
They are working in interdisciplinary ways, using interventionist
approaches and are challenging the creation of binaries that pit automation
against human control.

In this panel, we discuss this as a new horizon for anthropological
inquiry. One that is provoked by the changing ways energy is being
negotiated within homes, circulated through neighbourhoods, and getting
entangled in local markets. We invite papers that critique ‘low carbon
transition’, provide ethnographic accounts of energy, or that offer
methodological innovations for collaborative, experimental or
interdisciplinary working. We are particularly interested in the insights
from global south contexts and its cross-cultural comparison with the
‘smart energy’ narrative in the global north. Overall, we invite broad
critical engagement with the issues raised by doing anthropology at the
grid edge.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Abhigyan Singh & Charlotte Johnson
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