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THESys Lecture by Prof. Boyer: "Base load and its discontents" and & THESys Award Ceremony

  Scientific Talks

Date: 07.12.2017; 5:15 p.m.

Place: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Grimm-Zentrum, Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 1/3, Auditorium (ground floor)

IRI THESys cordially invites you to its next public lecture held by Prof. Dr. Dominic Boyer who will speak about "Base load and its discontents”. And please note: after the lecture, young scientists will be honored with this year’s THESys Award for their excellent Bachelor and Master theses.

We look forward to seeing many of you!

When? Thurs, 07 December 2017, 17.15
Where? Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Grimm-Zentrum, Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 1/3, Auditorium (ground floor) load and its discontents

This lecture seeks to document changes in expert thinking about how electricity can and should be generated and provided in the future; and it contributes to a broader scholarly effort to surface the role that electricity has played in our modernity. 

Dominic Boyer argues specifically that the relationship of electricity and modernity fundamentally involves the problem of desire—specifically the desires for modern luxury and convenience, the desire for freedom from onerous labor, but also the irrational desire of endless economic growth and wealth generation and the repetition compulsion of investment in fossil fuels even as signs of global warming and ecological disruption multiply.

Since psychoanalysis is the only domain of social theory that takes desire seriously as a political force in its own right, Freud emerges as a muse for thinking through the aspirations of wind power development and grid expansion in Mexico’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec as well as the contentious politics of “baseload” and “smart grid” in the global North.

Dominic Boyer is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, Rice University, USA. 

More information:

THESys Award

Since 2015, the IRI THESys awards prizes for excellent bachelor and master theses in the field of human-environmental research – the THESys Award. The award ceremony takes place every winter term with graduates from the previous two semesters. The THESys Award is given in two categories, i.e. bachelor and master thesis. Besides scientific excellence, the nominated theses were evaluated for their contribution to answering an interdisciplinary research question in the context of IRI THESys’ aims and scope. Furthermore, the winners have shown their motivation for pursuing an academic career.

More information: