This project is a genealogy of the largest coal ash flood in US history that traces the intersecting forces that brought it into existence. And, it is a material analysis of the psychological, social, and geological processes that render this matter and this event largely invisible. At the intersections of environmental history, cultural geography, anthropology, and affect theory, this work centers on an analysis of power across multiple scales of social organization and through the development of the US electric grid. It is a layered account of the multiple ways desire for power and change produce a residue that perpetually accumulates. The project aims to enact a way of seeing that challenges and subtly alters the processes of knowledge production that render the ash flood invisible and outside of history. By drawing attention to the coal ash flood as a node of connection among multiple groups, ideas, and pasts, it explores how the excess production of coal ash physically and metaphorically emerges out of that which is forgotten or excluded from everyday life and the modes of knowledge production that condition it in the contemporary US.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2014. Major: American Studies. Advisor: Hoon Song. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 223 pages.
Flooded in Sludge, Fueling the Nation: Generating Power, Waste, and Change in East Tennessee.
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