Slow Burn: Re-turn Communication in Energy Transition

Junyi Lv, CSCC Postdoctoral Fellow

12:30pm - 1:45pm | CSCC Conference Room, PCPSE Room 418, 133 S. 36th St

This study digs into communities’ dependence on coal and current efforts of transition, from local perspectives with cross-cultural references. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork in southeast Kentucky and my hometown, Yangquan, China, I probe the multiplicity and ambiguity of coal transition, collaborating with local community members, including miners and their families, truck drivers, industry executives, government administrators, NGO volunteers and workers, educators and scholars, producers and storytellers, social media content creators, and entrepreneurs. Specifically, I asked: how do individuals, families, organizations, and communities intertwine with coal, and strive to adapt, adjust, and overcome dependencies? What are the vested interests involved and the vectors driving changes? How can diverse international energy communities communicate about experiences and collaborate for alternative resilient futures? The findings contour that coal transition has been ignited as a “slow burn” elaborated in four rhetorically and locally grounded topoi: transition, transformation, transfiguration, and transience. The research foregrounds communities’ life experiences and voices to complement top-down approaches to energy transition. It strives to facilitate communication among energy communities with shared precarities, alternative possibilities, and local heterogeneity.

Open to all, informal lunch served. This event is held onsite with a Zoom session. Please register in advance here:


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