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Sustainability Events

What Can 19th Century Literature
Tell Us About Energy?

LightWorks

Kent Linthicum

  • PhD Candidate, Literature, Department of English, Arizona State University

Energy is the foremost question of the 21st century: is there enough of it? How should we use it? These questions are not unique to us. This talk will focus on how the modern conception of energy started in the 19th century and explore how writers in industrial Britain began to wrestle with questions of energy use, its consequences, and the advancement of sciences like thermodynamics. Texts like Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Dracula by Bram Stoker, and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells help show how conversations about energy exploitation and use were expressed in literature, and to demonstrate how humanities research can help us with modern questions.

Kent Linthicum is a PhD Candidate in Literature at Arizona State University. He received his bachelor's from the University of the Pacific in California. His research focuses on the history and intersections of literature and science in the 19th century, specifically how they conceived of the environment with the goal of comprehending how humanity interacts with its environment. His dissertation focuses on literary representations of volcanoes in the 19th century, to find out how people in the 19th century understood massive environmental phenomena that operated on geologic time.

Lunch will be served.

Friday, April 3, 2015
12:00 - 1:15 p.m.