Doha, Qatar: The Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) is partnering with Msheireb Museums to host an international forum under the theme “Global Energy Cultures: How Energy Shapes Our Everyday Lives,” from December 9-10.
As part of GU-Q’s signature Hiwaraat Conference Series, which continues to amplify regional perspectives on today’s pressing global challenges, the conference will explore the intricate relationship between energy and our cultures, as it explores pathways toward sustainable practices.
A dynamic fusion of academic and artistic exchanges, including compelling scholarly discussions, photography and art exhibitions, film screenings, and talks with artists will be open to the public at Msheireb Museums’ four historic heritage houses in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha.
“Reliant on technology, commerce, and production, modern life would be unfeasible without a constant supply of energy in different forms. However, it is a misconception to confine energy to the economy and industry, disregarding its phenomenal implications for culture and society. Our next Hiwaraat conference, jointly organized with Msheireb Museums, explores the significance of energy in those contexts, bringing together not just scholars, but also practitioners and artists, to make academic research more accessible to the public,” said the dean of GU-Q, Dr. Safwan Masri.
A distinguished lineup of scholars, artists, architects, writers, and activists from around the world will highlight the social and political aspects of energy production and consumption. The discussions will provide a unique lens into the different ways in which energy systems not only shape our daily lives and influence individual and collective choices but are shaped by human cultures.
Acting General Manager of Msheireb Museums, Abdullah Al Naama, said: “At Msheireb Museums, our mission is to serve as a dynamic platform for free and open presentation of academic research to the public. We take pride in creating an atmosphere that encourages accessible engagement and meaningful dialogue on contemporary issues, offering a fresh perspective on crucial topics. We are happy to be collaborating with Georgetown University in Qatar for this conference that showcases an important topic in alignment with our commitment to spark dialogue and raise awareness in the community.”
The conference will kick off with sessions that explore household energy use and the energy landscape more broadly. A panel titled “Heritage Spaces and Energy Futures” will feature Dr. Hafiz Ali Abdulla, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Msheireb Properties, and Dr. Hiroki Shin, Queen’s University Belfast. Dr. Shin’s current research project examines the roles of cultural and heritage institutions in society’s cultural adaptation to climate change.
A discussion titled “Decolonizing Energy: Palestine and Beyond” will feature Palestinian scientist and author Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, founder and director of the Palestine Natural History Museum in Bethlehem, West Bank, the first and only museum of its kind in Palestine.
“Architecture and Energy: A Dialogue with Practitioners” will feature insights from Ibrahim Jaidah, award-winning Qatari architect and author.
In other sessions, Zahra Babar, Associate Director of Research, CIRS, GU-Q, will chair “Work and Workers: Towards Energy Justice” while expert voices on the panel “Electrical Africa: Past, Present, Future” will include Dr. Damilola Olawuyi, UNESCO Chairholder on Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, Hamad Bin Khalifa University. Also on the panel is Dr. Michelle Pressend, lecturer in environmental sociology, at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Her research at the transdisciplinary Environmental Humanities South (UCT) explores renewable energy transitions and ‘energy democracy’.
Alongside insightful academic sessions over the two days, the “Global Energy Cultures” forum will showcase the unique creative expressions of energy themes through conversations with writers, filmmakers, and other international artists.
For the full program and registration, please visit the conference website at https://cirs.qatar.georgetown.edu/energy/.
Global Energy Cultures Forum December 9-10, 2023:
The Global Energy Cultures forum goes beyond the conventional confines of science and technology, delving into the nuanced exploration of energy through the lenses of humanities and social sciences. Energy is not just about geopolitics, economics, or even science. Energy is part of our identities. It helps us know and make sense of the world. It is part of the relationships that hold us together and the conflicts that drive us apart. By adopting an interdisciplinary approach, the forum illuminates the intricate relationships between energy and the fabric of society, delving into the narratives, values, and ethical considerations that underpin our everyday interactions with energy. The academic panel discussions together with our collection of artworks, musical compositions, films, and art practices center the cultural lives of energy, inviting us to see and think in new ways about our energy pasts, presents, and futures.
The Hiwaraat Conference Series at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) brings together scholars, experts, and the public for an exploration of shared global challenges in order to create a better future through dialogue and discussion. Each conference in the series offers an inclusive space that encourages community engagement, knowledge creation, and the search for innovative solutions to present and future challenges.
About Georgetown University in Qatar
Established in 1789 in Washington, DC, Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions. Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), founded in 2005 in partnership with Qatar Foundation, builds upon the world-class reputation of the university through education, research, and service. Inspired by the university’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical, and spiritual understanding, GU-Q aims to advance knowledge and provide students and the community with a holistic educational experience that produces global citizens committed to the service of humanity.