Cymene Howe

My research is concerned with the ways that ecological authority is constituted as well as how anthropogenic climate change calls for new ways of imagining our collective biotic and material futures. I also have a longstanding interest in the overlapping conversations between feminist and queer theory, new materialisms and more-than-human being.
Currently, I am researching the social life of ice in the Arctic and, specifically, in the country of Iceland. This project examines the social and political significance of ice, the values associated with it, and the implications of its expiration; it is an inquiry into the social sentiments and consequences of melt and the metamorphosis of ice. In the most basic terms it is a study of cryohmuan relations.    
Ecologics: Wind and Power in the Anthropocene (forthcoming with the Duke University Press 2019), my second book, is based on a collaborative research project (with Dominic Boyer) in Oaxaca, Mexico and focuses on the political and social contingencies of renewable energy development. Ecologics proposes that while energy transition demands the adoption of less catastrophic fuel sources, equally critical is knowing the ways that humans articulate energetic desires—for light and heat, movement and flourishing—and how these correspond with or disrupt the energetic needs of other biotic life and ecological systems.
I spent over a decade working in Nicaragua and my first book, Intimate Activism: The Struggle for Sexual Rights in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua (Duke University Press 2013) analyzes how sexual rights activists reformulated their country's revolutionary history to create new models of sexual subjectivity and rights. Based on my research in Nicaragua I have served as an expert witness for several successful sexual asylum cases in the United States.
Ontologies, Vitalities, Things
Culture and Climate in the Anthropocene
The Social Life of Clean Energy
Anthropological Directions from mid-Century to the Present
Cultures of Sexuality
Anthropology of Activism
Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology
Ethnographic Research Methods
Graduate Proseminar
Gender, the Disciplines and Interdisciplinarity
Transnational Sexualities
*all of my published articles are available at: