Extractive States: How Energy Became Power in the Industrial Age by Victor Seow


Location: 1050 Jenkins Nanovic Halls

Seow Profile Pic


In this talk, historian of science Victor Seow introduces his recent book, Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022). Through a history of what was once the largest coal mine in East Asia, this study explores the rise of fossil-fueled developmentalism in China and Japan and, more generally, the relationship between energy and power in the industrial age.


Victor Seow is a historian of technology, science, and industry. He specializes in China and Japan in the long twentieth century and in histories of energy and work. At the core, his research revolves around questions of how technoscientific developments intersect with economic life and environmental change in the making and unmaking of industrial society.

This event is sponsored by the Department of History, GLOBES Program, and Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies.