Kristin Conner Doughty
Grant TypeHunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institutional AffiliationRochester, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10044
Approve DateOctober 2, 2020
Project TitleDoughty, Kristin (Rochester, U. of) "Threats to Power"
KRISTIN DOUGHTY, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2020 to aid research and writing on “Threats to Power.” This book project uses ethnographic research with a methane extraction project on a potentially explosive lake in Rwanda, brought into conversation with ethnographic work with landfill gas projects in upstate New York, to examine the relationships between energy, waste, and capture in the first decades of the 21st century. The Lake Kivu methane extraction project, which has garnered international acclaim, aims to reduce dangerous levels of unstable gasses dissolved in the lake to prevent it from exploding, while providing much-needed power to meet increasing local demand. This manuscript uses participant observation and interviews with people living alongside Lake Kivu, methane plant operators, Rwandan and international scientists, and political authorities to consider the production and experience of “energopower” (Boyer) through methane in a post-conflict environment. The book argues that thinking energy and power (both electric and political) alongside capture and waste is essential to identifying the colonial and carceral logics of existing power projects, and to imagining truly transformative energy solutions. The book engages with energy humanities, environmental anthropology (specifically anthropologies of energy) and political anthropology (specifically carceral studies and waste studies), shaped by feminist and Black and African studies.