carafullres-7-of-21.jpgI am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech. I have a Ph.D. in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University (August 2016), with a focus on international relations (minor focus: political theory). My work is situated in global environmental politics and feminist approaches to science and technology. In particular, I am interested in the politics of energy and technology in an era of planetary ecological disruption.

My book manuscript, Energy at Work: Fossil Ethics in the Anthropocene, is under contract with Duke University Press. It treats energy as a historical figuration that is generated through the interplay of bodies, machines and fuels. Energy is often understood to be transhistoric, but a genealogical approach appreciates energy as a thing of the Anthropocene, emerging only through Victorian efforts to solve the mysteries of steam engines. Drawing upon feminist science studies and the nascent field of energy humanities, the book traces the invention of energy in the mid-19th century through the rise of nuclear power in the mid-20th century, a period I refer to as a prelude to the Anthropocene. investigates the ethical legacies of energy physics.

I am also interested in feminist and queer theories in international relations, with a special focus on their intersection with science and technology. My article in the International Feminist Journal of Politics (recipient of the journal’s 2014 Enloe Award), titled “Drone Disorientations: How ‘Unmanned’ Weapons Queer the Experience of Killing in War,” considers the gender implications of drone warfare (available at

My next research project, on ‘fossil fascism,’ interrogates the relationship between fossil fuels and fascism. Fossil fascism draws connections between the mounting, existential insecurities of the Anthropocene, and especially to fossil-fueled lifestyles and capitalism, and proto-fascist desires and movements within Western, liberal democracies. In other words, it analyzes our unsustainable addiction to fossil fuels as a key dimension in understanding 21st century fascisms. The risk of fascist regimes emerging in the U.S. and Europe poses a much greater threat to planetary security than do vulnerable people in the global South. Ironically, and in contradiction to dominant climate security worldviews, the threat of fascism will be greatest in the most privileged nation-states and among groups that may not be the most vulnerable to environmental changes, but have the most to lose as fossil-fueled capitalism is challenged.

Cara New Daggett

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