Canada Research Chair in Media, Culture and the Environment
BA (University of Alberta), MA (McGill), PhD (New York University)
Scott House, Traill College
Anne Pasek is the Canada Research Chair in Media, Culture and the Environment and an Assistant Professor cross-appointed between the Department of Cultural Studies and the School of the Environment. She studies the cultural politics of climate change, focusing in particular on how carbon becomes mediated and meaningful in different institutional and social contexts. As an energy humanist, she further investigates the connection between research methods, academic norms, and carbon intensity, developing and prototyping low-carbon alternatives for conducting research and sustaining collegial connections.
Her forthcoming monograph, entitled Fixing Carbon: Mediating Matter in a Warming World, is a comparative study of how carbon became legible to different communities, to different effects. Spanning from climate denialism, corporate sustainability initiatives, degrowth accounting, and emerging carbon-negative markets, the book demonstrates how carbon has come to be the subject of wildly variable social formations and political projects, suggesting that the element is fundamentally polysemous. Dr. Pasek traces this problem to carbon’s materiality as an element, arguing that carbon politics are largely decided through the bonds and relations that constitute the work of climate communication. Early versions of this project can be found in the journals Culture Machine and Humanities.
Her new research project examines the role of energy in shaping academic norms and research methods. In 2021 she will found and direct the Trent Low-Carbon Research Lab: a group of students and scholars thinking speculatively and creatively about the prospects for low-carbon research methods and infrastructures. Early projects of the lab will include new protocols for e-conferencing during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as instructions for DIY solar-powered servers and websites.
Dr. Pasek’s wider research interests include the politics of infrastructure, critical making and research-creation processes, and feminist STS. She has published on topics ranging from geoengineering, knitting software, Moore’s Law, urban agriculture, and glitch aesthetics.
She teaches both introductory classes (CUST 1535H) and upper level seminars in media studies, science communication, new materialism, and infrastructure studies. She welcomes opportunities for mentorship and collaboration with students across her areas of expertise and interest.