Gokce Gunel

Gökçe Günel is Associate Professor in Anthropology at Rice University. Her latest book Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi (Duke University Press, 2019) focuses on the construction of renewable energy and clean technology infrastructures in the United Arab Emirates, more specifically concentrating on the Masdar City project. Currently, she is at work on a second book project provisionally titled Energy Accumulation. This book seeks to criticize the unilinear logics of the energy transition narrative by studying the emergence of a Turkish-built floating power plant in Ghana. Dr. Günel finished her PhD in Anthropology at Cornell, and has served as Cultures of Energy Mellon-Sawyer Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice University (2012-2013), ACLS New Faculty Fellow and Lecturer at Columbia University (2013-2016) and Assistant Professor in Middle East and North African Studies at the University of Arizona (2016-2019). Her articles have been published and are forthcoming in Limn, Ephemera, Engineering Studies, Public Culture, Anthropological Quarterly, The Yearbook of Comparative Literature, The ARPA Journal, Avery Review, PoLAR, Log, e-flux, Perspecta, South Atlantic Quarterly and Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. She has contributed to edited volumes, such as Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary (Lars Müller, 2016), Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon (Punctum Press, 2019), The New Arab Urban: Gulf Cities of Wealth, Ambition, and Distress (NYU Press, 2019), Frontier Assemblages (Wiley, 2019) and Extinct: A Compendium of Obsolete Objects (Reaktion Books, 2021).

Dr. Günel co-authored "A Manifesto for Patchwork Ethnography" (2020), and co-leads Patchwork Ethnography.

Research Areas

Social/Cultural Anthropology, Energy and Climate Change in the Middle East and Africa


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