Guest Talk Mark Goodale
7 November 2022, 18.15, Room L 155
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Prof. Dr. Mark Goodale (University of Lausanne):
The Food That Will Feed the World: Lithium Industrialization and the Political Economies of the Green Energy Transition
This presentation analyzes results from ethnographic, interdisciplinary, and collaborative research on the relationship between lithium industrialization, the so-called green energy and mobility transitions, and the emergence of what the project is describing as "green futurism," that is, ways of fixing the productive future based on a combination of algorithmic climate projections and what Cymene Howe has described as "ecologics" (Howe 2019).
The project is structured around a multi-sited study of the "lithium energy assemblage," which is both a theoretical and methodological framework for capturing the ways in which the global obsession with lithium—the main constituent of lithium-ion batteries, which are the technical core of the com-ing electric vehicle (EV) revolution—is materialized and lived by a wide range of actors and institutions, from lithium salt miners on Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, to green mobility advocates pushing the EU's trillion euro Green Deal, to eco-entrepreneurs like Teague Egan, who are trying to develop more sustainable technologies to extract lithium from the elusive brine that flows beneath the world's great evaporated lakes. The presentation will fo-cus on the technological, socioeconomic, environmental, and ideological di-mensions of lithium industrialization as an increasingly urgent locus of in-vestment, policy-making, and productive realignment.
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