Back to All Events

PPEH Faculty Working Group: Ashley Dawson

  • Williams Hall 623 255 South 36th Street Philadelphia, PA, 19104 United States (map)

Faculty Working Group – Breakfast Meeting

Energy Commons: Climate Protection and the Fight for Public Power
Ashley Dawson, Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities, Princeton Environmental Institute and and Professor of English at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Rural Lines – USA: The Story of the Rural Electrification Administration’s First Twenty-five Years, 1935-1960."

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Rural Lines – USA: The Story of the Rural Electrification Administration’s First Twenty-five Years, 1935-1960."

Most experts agree that the key to averting climate disaster is to make a swift transition to renewable energy. Yet, despite recent celebrations of the growth of solar and wind power, that shift is not happening at anything near the speed and scale necessary. Why is this and what can be done to speed the transition and ensure that it is a just one?


Ashley Dawson is the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities at the Princeton Environmental Institute for 2017/18 and Professor of English at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). He is the author of two recent books on topics relating to the environmental humanities: Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change (Verso Books, 2017), and Extinction: A Radical History (O/R Press, 2016). Dawson recent completed work on a book entitled The Energy Commons: How to Fight Fossil Capitalism and Reclaim Public Power, and is currently writing about the experience and literature of planetary urbanization.