Project: Rancho Seco Recreational Park

Kristin George Bagdanov is a PhD candidate in English Literature at U.C. Davis working on a dissertation about the ways in which American poets across the Cold War period address the socio-ecological changes of the nuclear age. Kristin is also a poet, and her two books of ecological poetry were published this year: Fossils in the Making (Black Ocean) and Diurne (Tupelo Press), winner of the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize.

Jonathan Radocay is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and a PhD candidate in English Literature, with a Designated Emphasis in Native American Studies, at UC Davis. His dissertation reconceptualizes Cherokee and other Indigenous storytelling forms that emerged from the allotment and privatization of Indigenous land bases during the early 20th century around place-based, Indigenous geospatial practices, counter-geographies, and geographic knowledges. His research uses geospatial technologies such as ArcGIS together with Indigenous cartographies and expressive forms to reframe narratives of land dispossession around Indigenous survival and to tell new stories about Indigenous lands.

Carrie Ziser is an artist who uses cast-off and discarded materials from her home, local thrift stores, and found objects in the community. These personal materials fit her budget, reduce her ecological footprint, and connect her to the state of no longer being needed or valued. At age 8 Carrie’s family moved to Wilton, a rural community 15 miles away from the Rancho Seco Nuclear power plant. The two Rancho Seco cooling towers were a constant part of her visual landscape and a steady source of childhood confusion about what constituted real danger and what was an appropriate level of anxiety. She spent many summer days swimming in the Rancho Seco emergency cooling supply lake with her family and 4-H club, and in 4th grade she won a calendar art contest sponsored by the energy company. When accepting her prize Carrie was allowed to enter the Rancho Seco reactor complex. These experiences left deep impressions, and Carrie looks forward to further exploring memories and imagery related to childhood brushes with nuclear power.

Michael Ziser is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches courses and directs graduate research on early American literature and culture as well as a wide variety of topics in the environmental and energy humanities. He is currently working on a book that thinks about the energy predicaments of the Anthropocene through the longer history of hydropower exploitation in the Holocene. The reservoir at Rancho Seco—both before and after decommissioning—was a childhood swimming spot and field trip destination, and one of Michael’s goals for this collaboration is to understand and reconnect to a landscape and history that he first experienced largely in ignorance.

Karnataka, India

Project: Pavagada solar power project

Lingaraj Jayaprakash is an Environmental Social Scientist at McGill University in Canada working towards his doctoral dissertation that examines ways through which engaged action-research better enable
sustainable governance of a rapidly urbanising national park in India. He has spent extensive time in the field in some of the most vulnerable socio-ecological systems in the world understanding ways through which people are coping with socio-ecological change. He is currently based in India not far from Pavagada.

Deepthi Swamy is a researcher working on understanding complexities associated with clean energy transitions in India. She holds a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Cornell University and has worked for over ten years with Indian energy policy institutions in various capacities. She has co-produced knowledge to inform policies for renewable energy and power sector planning for energy utilities, electricity regulators, government bodies at national and sub-national levels. She is currently based in Bangalore city, 150km from Pavagada.


Project: St. John’s Habour: Energy Amphitheatre

Dean Bavington is Associate Professor of Geography at Memorial University. His first book, Managed Annihilation: An Unnatural istory of the Newfoundland Cod Collapse (UBC Press, 2010), critically examines the history and consequences of managerial interventions into the cod fisheries of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. More recently, he has examined the geography of industrial aquaculture and alternatives to managerial approaches to environmental issues through a co-edited collection Subsistence under Capitalism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (2016, McGill-Queen’s Press). Dean is interested in exploring alternatives to managerialism through an examination of historic and contemporary vernacular practices that enact alternatives to capitalism and colonialism.

Danine Farquharson is Associate Professor of English at Memorial University. Her current research interests are in ocean studies and energy humanities. She is at work on a joint research project with Dr. Fiona Polack called Cold Water Oil, which examines how the North Atlantic offshore oil and gas industry is imagined in a wide range of high and popular contexts. She is the co-editor of Shadows of the Gunmen: Violence and Culture in Modern Ireland and the co-founder and co-curator of the research cluster and blog SSHORE (Social Science and Humanities Ocean Research and Education).

Rachel Webb Jekanowski is a Banting Fellow in the Department of English at Memorial University, with a Ph.D. in Film and Moving Image Studies from Concordia University. Informed by the environmental/energy humanities, her research focuses on entanglements of visual culture, industry, and environments within settler colonial Canada, past and future. Rachel also works as a community organizer, using public education and the arts to promote energy justice and support Indigenous sovereignty. She is an active member of the St. John’s-based Social Justice Co-operative (SJC) and serves on the Board of Directors for Eastern Edge, an artist-run gallery.

Fiona Polack is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Memorial University, and Academic Editor at Memorial’s scholarly press, ISER Books. Her interdisciplinary research primarily focuses on cultural figurations of the North Atlantic offshore oil industry. Recent publications include an article in the Journal of Canadian Studies on corporate and worker photographs of the doomed Ocean Ranger, and an essay on the politics of energy sources in Newfoundland and Labrador in The Democracy Cookbook. Fiona has also published widely on settler colonialism, including her edited collection Tracing Ochre: Changing Perspectives on the Beothuk (University of Toronto Press, 2018).


Project: Pangnirtung, Nunavut

Hillary Predko is an artist, researcher, and writer who explores the intersection of industrial production and the environment. She holds a BDes from OCAD University and is an MES candidate at Queen’s University. Hillary is a regular guest editor for The Prepared, a newsletter about manufacturing and the built world. She loves speculative fiction, mapping, repair, and trying to keep her houseplants alive.

Micky Renders‘ career as an artist/educator/activist spans over 25 years and has largely focused on community-based work to promote social justice. Render’s work has been exhibited across Ontario and she has won several prestigious awards including the Prime Minister’s Regional Award for Teaching Excellence, the Drawing the Line Provincial Award, and the YMCA Peace Award. Renders is a former director and co-founder of the Spark Photo Festival, a month-long regional photography festival in its 8th year. Having retired after 28 years of teaching art in the public school system, Renders is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Queen’s University, working with Inuit Artists to animate the issues of Waste in Canada’s Arctic.


Project: Complicating Hydroelectricity: On the Beauharnois Generating Station

Jordan B. Kinder is currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University in the Department of Art History & Communication Studies. He is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta, and holds a PhD in English and Film Studies from the University of Alberta.

Burç Köstem is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication Studies at McGill University. His doctoral research is informed by social theory, cultural studies and political economy, examining the infrastructural mediation of environments and economies, in the context of Turkey’s urbanization. More broadly, he is interested in post-autonomist political thought, theories of new materialism, the politics of the built environment, the problem of waste and excess in urban economies, the mechanisms of pre-emption, theories of value and radical politics.

Hannah Tollefson is a PhD student in Communication Studies at McGill University. Informed by environmental humanities and media and technology studies, her research examines infrastructure and environment, with a focus on extraction, logistics, and energy in the context of Canada’s settler colonial resource economies.

Ayesha Vemuri is a PhD student in Communication Studies at McGill University. Her research focuses on the politics of infrastructure, flooding, and climate change in Assam, India. She is particularly interested in feminist collective-building, activism and resilience in relation to increased flooding and ineffective state response.