Sara B. Pritchard
Professor Sara Pritchard is an environmental STS scholar specializing in the history of technology and environmental history. Her current research program critically examines the history, science, and ethics of excessive artificial light at night. Sara’s book, Night as Environment: Light Pollution and the Anthropocene, explores how different scientific disciplines have studied light pollution since the 1970s. Her research has been supported by grants from the US National Science Foundation (Scholars’ Award #1555767, Program in Science, Technology, and Society), as well as Cornell’s Society for the Humanities, Center for the Social Sciences, and Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.
Sara’s first book, Confluence: The Nature of Technology and the Remaking of the Rhône, (Harvard University Press, 2011), examined the history of the transformation of France’s Rhône River since World War II. The book’s Introduction and a related article outline a theoretical framework for envirotechnical analysis, which scrutinizes the relationship between nature and technology, both historically and analytically. She has also coauthored (with Carl A. Zimring) Technology and the Environment in History (2020), coedited (with Dolly Jørgensen and Finn Arne Jørgensen) New Natures: Joining Environmental History with Science and Technology Studies (2013), and coedited special issues in Environment and Planning A (2016), Journal of Energy History / Revue d’histoire de l’énergie (2019), and Minding Nature (2020).
Sara has worked with graduate students in not only STS and History, but also Anthropology, Asian Studies, Design and Environmental Analysis, Global Development, History of Architecture and Urban Development, and Natural Resources.
Environmental STS; environmental history, history of technology, and their intersection (envirotech); environmental humanities; 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, 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. New Natures - University of Pittsburgh Press (upittpress.org)
- 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).
- “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
- “‘Memory Effects’ and Dark Histories: Ecological Light-Pollution Research and Nazi Legacies at Lake Stechlin.” Environmental Humanities, forthcoming 2024.
- “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.
- “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.
- "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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
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/