What does energy look like on the big screen?

Join us for a Fellow in Focus conversation with Raechel Lutz and Conevery Bolton Valencius, coeditor and contributor to the recent collection American Energy Cinema.

By analyzing Hollywood films that feature energy as historical objects, the volume shows how energy systems of all kinds are both integral to the daily life of Americans and inextricable from larger societal change and global politics.


  • 6pm–7pm | Lecture
  • 7pm-8pm | Reception

About the Speakers

Raechel Lutz is a historian and teacher at the Wardlaw + Hartridge School. She earned her PhD in United States history from Rutgers University, and is the coeditor of American Energy Cinema. Her writing and research focuses on environmental history and energy history and her manuscript project is an environmental history of Exxon titled The Good Polluter. She is also editing a collection of essays on the environmental history of New Jersey.

Conevery Bolton Valencius is a professor of history at Boston College. She earned her PhD in the history of science from Harvard University and works on the history of environments, health, and energy. Valencius is the author of two books: The Health of the Country: How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land and The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquake. She is currently finishing a book about earthquakes and energy in the contemporary United States, which she is cowriting with science journalist Anna Kuchment of the Boston Globe.

About Fellow in Focus

The Rohm and Haas Fellow in Focus Lecture series gives the Institute’s scholars an opportunity to present their work to a broad audience interested in history, science, and culture. Fellow in Focus lectures are presented by the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry.

About Science and Society

Our Science and Society speaker series explores the history of science embedded in our everyday lives. We invite scientists, historians, policymakers, and educators for engaging, in-depth conversations that expand our perspectives. Program formats include lectures, interviews, roundtables, and book launches. Science and Society events are curated for an adult audience, fostering curiosity, conversation, and interactivity. Each evening concludes with a free reception with the speakers.

Featured image from Wings, 1927.

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