This course is a critical introduction to the history of energy. What roles has energy played in the creation and destruction of societies, cultures, and economies? How have different forms of energy—biomass, coal, oil, electricity, nuclear, renewables—influenced historical processes? How has the concept of “energy" been understood in different eras and places, and how have those understandings defined political and philosophical horizons—the borders between science and society, choice and necessity, for example? As we explore the history of energy we will ask what it means to be historians in an age of fossil-fueled climate change and how a focus on energy’s past may help us to envision new pathways into the future. No prior knowledge or pre-requisites. All undergraduates welcome.
Anti-Requisite Note: Cannot be taken for credit if HIST 1910 already complete.