CFP for CHSTM Online Energy History Working Group, 2021-2022

Sarah Stanford-McIntyre Discussion


Apologies in advance for cross-posting.

The Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Working Groups brings together scholars from around the world to share their works-in-progress on specialized topics in the history of science, technology and medicine.

The Energy History Working Group solicits work from within the field of energy history, globally conceived for our 2021-2022 schedule. The working group meets at 1:30 PM Eastern Time on the first Friday of each month. Meetings will be held via Zoom. Our first meeting will be held October, 1. A full schedule can be found here:

Energy – as defined as the ability to do work – is fundamental to life on earth and the search for control over energy sources and energy production has long been a driver of human social and economy development. Energy has been produced using an array of methods. Water, wind, wood, and muscle power drove energy production for much of human history. Beginning the late eighteenth century, a fossil fuel revolution shaped the trajectory of technological development, social networks, and global political systems for the next two hundred years. The knowledge that fossil fuels were finite and geographically contingent led to a search for alternative forms of energy production, such as nuclear power, that had their own strengths and weaknesses. Globalized capitalism depended upon intricate communications and trade networks that relied on abundant and cheap energy. The unintended consequences of such systems, from the destruction of older patterns of work to local and global impacts on public health are still being teased out by a generation of historians and social scientists. 

The Energy History Working Group seeks to highlight work that provides new analytical focus for the study of energy and its history. We solicit papers that access the deep linkages between business history, labor history, and issues of technological development and scientific experimentation. Access to desirable minerals – from coal to oil to rare earths has been a limiting factor in the design of energy technologies, systems, and consumption habits. Energy scholarship prioritizes the large role that networks – including supply chains, labor regimes, diplomatic connections, trade systems, and financial institutions – have played in the development of technologies and in crafting everything from health and medical standards to large-scale infrastructure projects. There is much more work to be done in this area. 

The co-conveners welcome papers on the following (and related) topics: 

  • -Extractive Regimes
  • -Energy Systems and Supply Chains
  • -Waste and Discard Studies 
  • -Plastics, Synthetics and Consumption 
  • -Mining History
  • -Water History 
  • -Just Transition
  • -Renewable energy 
  • -Public Health and Environmental Racism
  • -Climate history 
  • -Energy and the global economy
  • -Electrification and the State
  • -Nuclear Waste 
  • -Too-Big-To-Fail Technologies and Disaster 
  • -Labor and Energy Production
  • -Fossil Fuels and foreign policy 

Scholars interested in sharing a draft article, dissertation chapter, or book chapter for discussion should submit, as a single PDF, a proposal of no more than 1000 words including: 

  • a description of the paper
  • what you hope to gain from discussion with the group
  • relevant biographical information

Submissions should be uploaded at An official submission deadline is set for July 15, however the co-conveners will continue to consider papers until all discussion dates have been filled. Questions about the group can be sent via email to Sarah Stanford-Mcintyre at Sarah.StanfordMcintyre “at”



Dr. Sarah Stanford-McIntyre 
Assistant Professor, Herbst Program for Engineering, Ethics & Society
University of Colorado Boulder
Email: Sarah.StanfordMcintyre "at"