8th Annual Burge Lecture: "Illumination and its Discontents: Electricity Theft and the Political Economy of Japanese Energy"


Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 17:00 to 20:30


Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre
6163 University Blvd
Vancouver , BC


The UBC Department of History is pleased to invite you to this year’s 8th Annual Burge Lecture "Illumination and its Discontents: Electricity Theft and the Political Economy of Japanese Energy" with guest lecturer Dr. Ian Miller, Professor of History at Harvard University.
How did the world’s third-largest economy, Japan, become addicted to fossil fuels? The first non-Western nation to industrialize—a process driven by calories from coal and calories from bodies—the country now imports 97% of its primary energy and is home to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, site of three partial core meltdowns. This talk takes us back to the dawn of the energy-intensive culture that we now call “modernity,” tracing the emergence of new attitudes towards electrical power and tracking the development of a political economy that has colonized the climate. Our focus will be tight: the streets of Yokohama and Tokyo at the beginning of the twentieth century.  This presentation builds on Miller’s work as a Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellow.
Event Details
Date: Thursday, March 29, 2018
Pre-event Reception: 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Lecture: 6:30pm
LocationRobert H. Lee Alumni Centre, 6163 University Blvd.
Cost: Free (with RSVP)
To RSVP please register online by Monday, March 26th.
Organized by the UBC History Graduate Student Association, the Burge Lecture is an annual endowed lecture made possible by a generous donation from UBC alumnus William Burge. The Burge Lecture series provides students, faculty, alumni and community members the opportunity to connect with historians and scholars engaged in exciting research.
This year’s Burge Lecture is presented as part of the Meiji at 150 Lecture Series hosted by the Centre for Japanese Research, the Department of History, and the Department of Asian Studies.  For more, see: meijiat150.arts.ubc.ca.
If you have any questions, please contact the UBC History Graduate Student Association at ubc.burge@gmail.com.
We hope you can join us for the event!

About the Presenter

Ian Jared Miller is a historian of Japan and East Asia. His research is primarily concerned with the cultural dimensions of scientific, technological, and environmental change. He is the author of The Nature of the Beasts: Empire and Exhibition at the Tokyo Imperial Zoo (University of California Press, 2013) and co-editor with Brett L. Walker and Julia Adeney Thomas of Japan at Nature’s Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power (University of Hawaii Press, 2013).