Jessica Caporusso is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at York University, Canada. Her research interests meet at the intersection of anthropology, political ecology, and science & technology studies. Broadly, Ms.Caporusso’s research is concerned with growing sustainable energy demands in vulnerable island ecosystems, with a connection towards larger trends in responsible resource management and limiting climate change.
Theoretically, she uses cultivation as both a metaphor of governing plants + people and as a strategy of development, in order to examine how certain ways of being and knowing are fashioned in relation to bioenergy projects in the Global South. By concentrating on the design and implementation of renewable energy schemes in the small-island developing state (SIDS) of Mauritius, she examines the role of ecologically sensitive approaches toward energy supply and demand. Specifically, her work focuses on cultural understandings of alternative biofuels as well as their credibility as a source of energetic, political and economic power. This includes questioning future visions and constraints of energy through the development of infrastructure, policy and usage patterns.
As a sociocultural anthropologist, Ms. Caporusso’s research is qualitative in scope. Using ethnography, participant observation and interviews, her research explores the cultural politics of the environment and political economies of energy (energopolitics) in a rapidly globalizing world.
Ms. Caporusso is a contributor of the Plant Studies Collaboratory, the TechnoScience Salon, EnviroSociety, and the York University Energy Working Group. She is also a graduate associate of the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). Her research is supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC CGS-Doctoral) and by the Government of Ontario (OGS).