Sara B. Pritchard
Professor Sara Pritchard is a historian of technology and an environmental historian. Her first book, Confluence: The Nature of Technology and the Remaking of the Rhône (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011), examines the history of the transformation of France's Rhône River since World War II. She shows not only how technological development and environmental management were central to state building and shifting political identities in France, but also how historical actors reworked the boundaries of nature and technology, both materially and discursively. The book's Introduction outlines a theoretical framework for envirotechnical analysis, which scrutinizes the relationship between nature and technology, historically and analytically. Sara's second book project, From Blue to Black Marble: Knowing Light Pollution in the Anthropocene, explores how different scientific communities have studied artificial light at night and specifically environmental light pollution since the 1970s. This research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (Scholars' Award #1555767, Program in Science, Technology, and Society), as well as Cornell's Society for the Humanities and Institute for the Social Sciences. Sara works with graduate students not only in STS and History, but also in Design and Environmental Analysis, Development Sociology, History of Architecture and Natural Resources.
History of technology (including environmental management technologies, colonialism, and gender), environmental history, and their intersection (envirotech); environmental knowledge-making; environmental and technical expertise; conservation science, politics, and history.
Books and Edited Volumes:
- Technology and the Environment in History (with Carl A. Zimring). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming 2020. https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/technology-and-environment-history
- New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies (co-edited with Dolly Jørgensen and Finn Arne Jørgensen). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013. http://www.upress.pitt.edu/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=36357
- Confluence: The Nature of Technology and the Remaking of the Rhône. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674049659
- “Climate Change, Coronavirus, and Environmental Justice: A Collection of Undergraduate Creative Projects” (co-edited with Rebecca Harrison and Amanda Domingues). Minding Nature (Fall 2020). https://www.humansandnature.org/fall-2020
- “Light(s) and Darkness(es) / Lumière(s) et Obscurité(s): Shifting Historical Relations” (co-edited with Stéphanie Le Gallic). Special issue of Journal of Energy History / Revue d’histoire de l’énergie 2 (July 2019). https://energyhistory.eu/en/special/lights-and-darknesses-shifting-historical-relations
- "Knowledge and the Politics of Land" (co-edited with Steven A. Wolf and Wendy Wolford). Special issue of Environment and Planning A 48 (April 2016): 616-770. http://epn.sagepub.com/content/48/4.toc
- “Climate Change, Coronavirus, and Environmental Justice" (with Rebecca Harrison and Amanda Domingues). Minding Nature (Fall 2020). https://www.humansandnature.org/climate-change-coronavirus-and-environmental-justice
- “Dangerous Beauty: A Review of ‘Anthropocene: The Human Epoch.’” Review essay of “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch,” directed by Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky (2018). Environmental History 25, no. 2 (April 2020): 377-382. https://academic.oup.com/envhis/article/25/2/377/5762756
- “An Envirotechnical Disaster: Nature, Technology, and Politics at Fukushima,” The History of Technology: Critical Readings, ed. Suzanne M. Moon and Peter S. Soppelsa. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.
- “Night Matters—Why the Interdisciplinary Field of ‘Night Studies’ Is Needed” (with Christopher C.M. Kyba, A. Roger Ekirch, Adam Eldridge, Andreas Jechow, Christine Preiser, Dieter Kunz, Dietrich Henckel, Franz Hölker, John Barentine, Jørgen Berge, Josiane Meier, Luc Gwiazdzinski, Manuel Spitschan, Mirik Milan, Susanne Bach, Sibylle Schroer, and Will Straw). J: Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal 3, no. 1 (2020): 1-6. https://doi.org/10.3390/j3010001.
- “Field Notes from the End of the World: Light, Darkness, Energy, and Endscape in Polar Night.” Journal of Energy History / Revue d’histoire de l’énergie 2 (July 2019). https://energyhistory.eu/en/special-issue/epilogue-field-notes-end-world-light-darkness-energy-and-endscape-polar-night
- “Light(s) and Darkness(es): Looking Back, Looking Forward” (with Stéphanie Le Gallic). Journal of Energy History / Revue d’histoire de l’énergie 2 (July 2019). https://energyhistory.eu/en/special-issue/lights-and-darknesses-looking-back-looking-forward
- "On (Not) Seeing Artificial Light at Night: Light Pollution or Lighting Poverty?" Discard Studies: Social Studies of Waste, Pollution, & Externalities, June 12, 2017. https://discardstudies.com/2017/06/12/on-not-seeing-artificial-light-at-night-light-pollution-or-lighting-poverty/
- "The Trouble with Darkness: NASA's Suomi Satellite Images of Earth at Night." Environmental History 22 (April 2017): 312-330. https://academic.oup.com/envhis/article-abstract/22/2/312/2998686/The-Trouble-with-Darkness-NASA-s-Suomi-Satellite.
- "Knowledge and the Politics of Land" (with Steven A. Wolf and Wendy Wolford). Environment and Planning A 48 (April 2016): 616-625. http://epn.sagepub.com/content/48/4/616.abstract
- Review essay, Christopher F. Jones, Routes of Power: Energy and Modern America. H-Environment Roundtable Reviews 5 (November 24, 2015): 14-23. https://networks.h-net.org/jones-routes-power-roundtable-review-vol-5-no-9-2015
- Review essay, Richard C. Keller, Fatal Isolation: The Devastating Paris Heat Wave of 2003. Somatosphere Book Forum (September 25, 2015): 3-9. http://somatosphere.net/forumpost/on-vulnerability-and-the-anecdote
- "Conservation: More than inclusivity" (with Laura J. Martin). Nature 516 (December 4, 2014): 37. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v516/n7529/full/516037c.html
- "Toward an Environmental History of Technology." In The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History, edited by Andrew C. Isenberg. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. http://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-oxford-handbook-of-environmental-history-9780195324907?cc=us&lang=en&
- “An Envirotechnical Disaster: Negotiating Nature, Technology, and Politics at Fukushima.” In Japan at Nature’s Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power, edited by Ian Jared Miller, Julia Adeney Thomas, and Brett L. Walker. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2013. http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/p-9033-9780824838768.aspx
- “Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies: Promises, Challenges, and Contributions.” In New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies, edited by Dolly Jørgensen, Finn Arne Jørgensen, and Sara B. Pritchard. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013. http://www.upress.pitt.edu/htmlSourceFiles/pdfs/9780822962427exr.pdf
- “Envirotechnical Disaster at Fukushima: Nature, Technology and Politics.” In Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima Daiichi: Social, Political and Environmental Issues, edited by Richard Hindmarsh. New York: Routledge, 2013. http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415527835/
- “From Hydroimperialism to Hydrocapitalism: ‘French’ Hydraulics in France, North Africa, and Beyond.” Social Studies of Science 42 (August 2012): 591–615. http://sss.sagepub.com/content/42/4/591.full.pdf+html
- “The Politics of Opting Out” (letter). Conservation Biology 26 (June 2012): 382–383. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01848.x/pdf
- “An Envirotechnical Disaster: Nature, Technology, and Politics at Fukushima.” Environmental History 17 (April 2012): 219–243. http://envhis.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/2/219.full.pdf+html
- “The Nature of Industrialization” (with Thomas Zeller). In The Illusory Boundary: Environment and Technology in History, edited by Stephen Cutcliffe and Martin Reuss, 69–100. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010. http://books.upress.virginia.edu/detail%2Fbooks%2Fgroup-3561.xml?q=horse%20sort%3Apubdate
Interviews and Quotations:
- "On COVID’s Clear Skies with Dr. Sara B. Pritchard.” SHOT’s Technology’s Storytellers podcast. May 15, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO1pZd25ecM
- “Goodnight Night?” Flash Forward podcast. April 28, 2020. https://www.flashforwardpod.com/2020/04/28/goodnight-night/
- Tony Rehagen. “There’s Too Much Artificial Light at Night to See Stars. That’s a Problem.” Boston Globe. September 20, 2019. https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2019/09/20/goodnight-night-sky-and-everything-else-losing-our-over-illuminated-world/Eex5BuZ5dVhfDslpPYrC1L/story.html
- Marina Koren. “What If We Gave Up On the Stars?” The Atlantic. June 6, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/06/stars-artificial-light-satellites-moon/591163/
In the news
Courses - Spring 2022
- STS 3991 : Undergraduate Independent Study
- STS 4231 : Gender and Technology in Historical Perspectives
- STS 6991 : Graduate Independent Study