Kristin Phillips, is associate professor of anthropology at Emory University. She studies inequality and activism on energy, food and environment in East Africa and the US South. Kristin won the 2020 Society for Economic Anthropology Book Prize for her book, An Ethnography of Hunger: Politics, Subsistence, and the Unpredictable Grace of the Sun (Indiana Univ. Press). 

Since 2017, Kristin has led two National Science Foundation projects on poverty and energy — one in East Africa and one in the southeastern US.  Our podcast focuses on her study of energy poverty and activism in Georgia connected with policies of the state’s dominant utility Georgia Power. See her article on this research in the February 2023 issue of Economic Anthropology (see references).  

Host: Sandy Smith-Nonini, Ph.D.  an anthropologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Edited for sound quality by: Roque Nonini. Music by Ambient Space Background. 

NOTE:  Kristin’s  reference to an IRP in the podcast refers to a utility’s “Integrated Resource Plan.”


Bakke, Gretchen (2016). The Grid: The Fraying Wires between Americans and our Energy Future. New York: Bloomsbury.  

Bryan, William, and Maggie Kelley. February 2021. Energy Insecurity Fundamentals for the Southeast. Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (Atlanta). 

Cater, Casey P. 2019. Regenerating Dixie: Electric Energy and the Modern South. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. 

Georgia Conservation Voters Education fund (2021). “Ratepayer Robbery: The True Cost of Plant Vogtle.” Atlanta: Georgia Conservation Voters.  

Harrison, Conor & Shelley Welton (2021). “The states that opted out: Politics, power, and exceptionalism in the quest for electricity deregulation in the United States South.” Energy Research and Social Science 79: 1-11.  

Luke, Nikki. 2021. “Powering racial capitalism: Electricity, rate-making, and the uneven energy geographies of Atlanta.” Environment & Planning E: Nature and Space.  

Nolin, Jill. 2021. “Feds Side with Black Voters in Suit That Says Rights Violated by At-Large PSC Elections.” Georgia Public Broadcasting, July 29, 2021.

Phillips, Kristin 2023 “Southern politics, southern power prices: Race, utility regulation, and the value of energy.” Economic Anthropology. 10:197–212.

Sovacool, Benjamin K., and Michael H. Dworkin. 2015. “Energy Justice: Conceptual Insights and Practical Applications.” Applied Energy 142: 435-444.  

US Department of Energy. Low Income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool. Accessed May 17, 2022. 


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Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers & Acquisitions
Society for Economic Anthropology (SEA)

SEA’s podcast, Mergers and Acquisitions demonstrates how anthropological and other perspectives can enhance and complicate understandings of economic life and contemporary events. Mergers and Acquisitions hosts interviews with leading economic anthropologists, provides reflection pieces on economic transformations and problems, and serves as a vehicle for new and established scholars to connect with each other. Recognizing that the best ideas and insights are rarely generated alone, Mergers and Acquisitions offers a collective mind-hive for furthering the study of economic life.