eESG Sponsored Sessions

If you would like us to consider your AAG 2020 session for EESG sponsorship, please contact us through the People page.

AAG Panel Session: Studying Transit: Experimental Research and Just Transitions

Organizers: Dylan Harris, Clark University, Worcester, MA; Gabe Schwartzman, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
The question of how to study transitions in geography has resulted in rich and interconnected scholarship about energy geographies, extractive landscapes, racial capitalisms, and the changing climate to name a few topics. From scholarship on the potentialities in the indeterminate future geographies of a low-carbon economy (Bridge et al, 2013); the turn to study art and experimentation in political ecologies of socioecolgocial transformation (Hawkins et al 2015; Braun, 2015); the prospects and promises of design for a ‘Just Transition’ (White, 2019); to Indigneous critique of the novelty of the Anthropocene (Whyte, 2018); conversations have centered around how to think about futures and futurity in the midsts of transitions (Rickards et al, 2014; Braun, 2015; Wynter and McKittrick, 2015; Knappe, 2019). In light of an emerging Green New Deal in the U.S., and of the prospects of a ‘Just Transition’ more broadly (Indigenous Environmental Network 2018), this panel brings together scholars interested in what it means to study transit (Byrd, 2011). More specifically, we are interested in discussing the methodological, analytical, and empirical challenges that come along with studying an issue that is currently happening or has not yet happened. We are also interested in a broad discussion of what exactly needs to transition, regarding everything from energy systems to food systems, and what are our roles as researchers in identifying and helping facilitate these needs. Finally, and importantly, we are interested in discussing the conceptualizations of justice that underpin a ‘Just Transition'. For this panel, we aim to have a wide-ranging conversation about these ideas, drawing from a variety of perspectives across a diversity of sites to begin thinking through what it means to study transit.

AAG 2020 Panel and Paper Session: Feminist Energy Geographies

Organizers: Mukul Kumar (University of California, Irvine) and Nikki Luke (University of Georgia)
This session invites participants working in different geographical and resource contexts to consider feminist approaches to energy geographies. As a growing field of nature-society scholarship, energy geographies has advanced research agendas to investigate the changing spatiality of energy extraction, finance, production, and use. Building on political economy and political ecology literatures, theory-building around energy considers the interdependent relationship between energy and capital accumulation, and as such, energy geographers have explored the connections between energy and social reproduction and the diverse ways in which energy systems intersect in everyday life (Calvert 2016; Valdivia 2018). Research into the geographical imaginaries of extraction and consumption examine how energy systems have shaped modern culture and politics (Appel, Mason, and Watts 2015; Huber 2013; Scott 2010), while research into energy poverty evidences the intimate entanglements of energy access and energy markets at home (Halff, Sovacool, and Rozhon 2014; Harrison and Popke 2011; Hilbert and Werner 2016). Historical and contemporary interventions trace the intersections of gender, race, class, and geography that generate difference in access to energy infrastructure (Desbiens 2004; Harrison 2016; McDonald 2009; Needham 2014; Nye 1992; Petrova and Simcock 2019). Feminist political economy has the potential to extend analyses of the ways in which energy contributes to uneven power relationships. Following a recent intervention on feminist political economy that situates “social difference – including, but not limited to, gender – to be integral to the functioning of political-economic systems and knowledge production processes” (Werner et al. 2017, 2), we ask how engaging feminist political economic and feminist political ecological scholarship may be useful for understanding energy systems in a period of energy transition and for whom feminist geographical energy research is useful? We are particularly interested in papers that consider feminist epistemologies and methodologies in energy research.

AAG 2020 Sessions: Environmental Justice, Communities and Just Energy Transitions

Organizers: Marissa Bell, University at Buffalo (SUNY); Sara Peterson, University at Buffalo (SUNY) In recent years we have seen the emergence of the field of energy justice and, concurrently, we have seen the centering of communities in discussions of energy policy, security, consumption, and transitions. In this time, communities have gained prominence as both the objects and subjects of energy debates, as the focus of conversations have increasingly turned to understanding both the ways in which existing energy decision-making procedures impact communities as well as the ways in which these same communities might become empowered within these energy decision-making and governance processes. This focus on communities is essential to effecting sustainable, just, and equitable energy for communities; it is all the more invaluable in a cultural climate rife with uncertainty, political distrust, and 'false news'. Through this session, we would like to shed light on the various forms of environmental governance that center communities in some form or another and facilitate conversations amongst the diverse range of geographers working in this domain. Recognizing and embracing the wide range of focus areas and methodological approaches that are pertinent to questions of environmental governance, communities, and energy justice, we welcome abstracts using a range of methodological approaches on a variety of themes.

AAG 2020 Paper Session: Critical Renewabilities: Political Ecologies of Renewable Energy

Organizers: Ingrid Behrsin, Sarah Knuth, Anthony Levenda, James McCarthy
Facing the challenge of global climate change and other 21st century disruptions, scholars across multiple fields of geographic research have increasingly embraced renewable energy transitions as a core concern. Such transitions are at once material and ecological, power-laden, and culturally meaningful – and thus deeply geographical (Bridge et al. 2013). Critical renewable energy geographers are therefore drawing upon political economy, feminist science studies, decolonial studies, environmental justice and other interdisciplinary approaches to investigate renewable energy transitions as emerging spaces of possibilities and constraints. This scholarship illuminates how renewable energy development may usher in new green economic imaginaries of technological 'disruption' and renewal (Knuth 2017; 2018), promise novel socioecological fixes to capitalist crisis tendencies (McCarthy 2015; Castree and Christophers 2015), and/or serve as liberatory “technologies of existence” (Powell 2006). Renewable energy transitions, and the variegated movements both in support of and in resistance to them, are thus fertile terrain for political ecology and critical energy scholars.

AAG 2020 session: Human-Environment Dimensions of Shale Gas Development


The massive increase in development related to shale gas extraction across the globe has given rise to a wide variety of ecological impacts and changes in human-environment dynamics. This session seeks to increase the interaction and collaboration of researchers focusing on the geography of shale gas development including aspects such as landscape fragmentation, impacts on native populations, impacts on wildlife populations, wastewater disposal, and seismicity. The session organizers hope that the interaction of scholars on this topic will lead to future interdisciplinary efforts of cross-location comparisons that are currently lacking in the research.