Trondheim, Norway

The North Sea

Würzburg, Germany

Founded in 2023, the Energy Today Lab is a research lab and creative space at Georgia Tech. We conduct research, make art, and develop pedagogical tools for addressing sociopolitical questions about energy, the environment, and climate change. We look to initiate and sustain dialogue on energy across fields, modes of thought, and methods. Interdisciplinary thinking across the humanities and STEM governs ETL's work. 

Why Energy Today?

Discussions about climate change have often projected environmental concerns into the future. And yet, we're confronted with these issues in alarming and urgent ways today. The "T" in ETL's name emphasizes the temporal structures that inform energy production and the importance of "doing history" - even when thinking about the present and future. ETL works to dissect and act upon the energy crises of our time and their ensuing environmental consequences in order to better understand where we are, how we got here, and where we're going. Research of this nature, which explores how we understand systems of governance, resource extraction, and the future of green energy, sits firmly at the intersection of the liberal arts and STEM. 

To do this work, it is necessary to undo a humanities vs. sciences mindset, which starts with interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary thinking that goes beyond the simple application of methodologies from one discipline to another. Instead, it is about tackling the unprecedented issues of our era with plural perspectives, which through their multiplicity become decentralized and dehierarchized. We can only understand – let alone address – such complex phenomena through equitable exchange, dialogue, and partnership.

What is Energy Humanities? 

The Energy Humanities is a field of study that considers the geopolitical, biopolitical, and historical underpinnings of how societies access and consume energy. This can entail studying the history - both technical and social - of energy structures, contemplating the ethics of energy and climate policy, or examining the representation of energy in literature, film, and other cultural artifacts to discern the ways in which diverse forms of energy have been folded into collective memory.  This can, and should, also comprise thinking about energy as an issue of inclusion, equity, and justice: who has access to (clean) energy? Where? Who has to live with the consequences of emissions? These are the kinds of questions that ETL asks and studies

ETL's work in the Energy Humanities intersects with other fields, including:

ETL's Goals

Learn more about support for ETL: BBISS Initiative Leads Projects Selected 

Learn more about initiatives led by ETL's founder and director, Dr. Stepanov: African Studies Minor 

An annual speaker series,  which centers on the African Studies Minor and focuses on inclusive pedagogy, has been established. The series fosters partnerships with the diverse community surrounding Georgia Tech and examines a broad set of questions concerning equity, ecology,  energy, social justice, and sustainability. In addition to programming, resources have been set aside to help build a diverse library collection.

Near Eeklo, Belgium

Near Selfoss, Iceland