Dr Arthur  Mason

Dr Arthur Mason

Visiting Senior fellow

Department of Anthropology

English, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish
Key Expertise
Global North

About me

I am a political anthropologist specializing in the study of Alaska Native Indigenous Becoming; Adverse impacts of circumpolar climate change for land and marine ecosystems, as well as local ways of life; Energy security and ecological vulnerability in the Global North; and Nordic aesthetics and futurity. I have been conducting fieldwork in the Global North for two decades, and have worked with energy consultants, U.S. political leaders, energy lobbyists, and community representatives across the Arctic. I have written on the anthropologies of extractive industry, futurity, and expertise, linked to STS-related genealogies.  

I am currently working on a book manuscript titled Energy Image: Hydrocarbon Aesthetics of Progress and Form which draws on affective imagery to convey ideas on the formation of energy planning associated with the modern integrated hydrocarbon energy system and its contradictions. Energy Image questions whether imagery, particularly drawn from futuristic imagination, can be understood as a type of conceptual consolidation of energy systems rather than a means to simply illustrate them. 

I recently completed an edited volume titled Arctic Abstractive Industry: Assembling the Valuable and Vulnerable North (Berghahn 2022) which brings together diverse engagements with natural resource extraction and ecological vulnerability in the contemporary Arctic. Contributors to this volume apprehend Arctic resource regimes through the concept of abstraction, that is, a focus on conceptual resources that conceal processes of exploitation associated with extractive industries. The study thus attunes to the formal operations that make appropriations of value possible while disclosing the politics of extraction and of its representation. 

Expertise Details

Energy Politics; The Anthropocene; Event Ethnography; Cultures of Expertise; Arctic Late Industrialism.