Rice anthropologist Boyer named Berlin Prize fellow

Dominic Boyer, a professor of anthropology at Rice University and director of Rice’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS), has been named a Berlin Prize fellow by the American Academy in Berlin.

Dominic Boyer (Photo by Jeff Fitlow)

Dominic Boyer (Photo by Jeff Fitlow)

The highly coveted Berlin Prize, which funds semesterlong fellowships in Berlin, is awarded annually to scholars, writers, composers and artists based in the United States who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields. Fellows receive a monthly stipend, partial board and accommodations at the American Academy’s Hans Arnhold Center.

The honor provides recipients with the time and resources to step back from their daily obligations to engage in academic and artistic projects they might not otherwise pursue. Fellows work with local individuals and institutions in the American Academy’s well-established network, forging rich connections and lasting trans-Atlantic relationships. During their stay, fellows engage audiences through public lectures, performances and readings, which take place at the Academy as well as throughout Berlin and Germany.

The 20 fellows chosen this year by an independent selection committee will explore an array of topics. Boyer plans to focus on his work, “Electric Futures,” a collaboration of Rice, Humboldt University of Berlin and the Energy and Society Millennium Nucleus (NUMIES) research group in Chile. The project examines global efforts to design and build new models of electrical infrastructure in the face of global climate change.

“Virtually every scenario for climate action features a dramatically expanded role for electricity in the global power mix in the future,” Boyer said. “But how that future will be achieved remains an open question. What is certain is that imagining how electricity will be provided, to whom it will be accountable and to what uses it will be put is one of the important conversations of the 21stcentury. The Berlin Prize offers a terrific platform for advancing this research.”

For more information on the prize, visit https://www.americanacademy.de/.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.