team > Cara Daggett

Cara Daggett is an assistant professor of political science in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech. Her research explores the politics of energy and the environment in an era of planetary disruption. She is interested in questions that lie at the nexus of human well-being, science, technology, and the more-than-human world. Her work often draws upon feminist approaches to power in order to understand how global warming emerged, as well as how it might be mitigated. Daggett’s book, The Birth of Energy: Fossil Fuels, Thermodynamics, and the Politics of Work (Duke, 2019), was awarded the Clay Morgan Award for best book in environmental political theory. The Birth of Energy traces the genealogy of energy back to the nineteenth-century science of thermodynamics to challenge the underlying logic that informs today’s uses of energy. The book argues that only by transforming the politics of work — most notably, the veneration of waged work — will we be able to confront the Anthropocene's energy problem. Daggett has also published several academic articles and book chapters, including in Environmental Politics, Energy Research & Social Science, Millennium: Journal of International Studies and in the International Feminist Journal of Politics, for which she won the journal’s 2015 Enloe Award. She has presented her work at many national and international conferences, and was awarded the 2017 A. Leroy Bennett Award for the best paper presented by a faculty member at the 2016 ISA Northeast conference. Daggett holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard University, a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a doctorate in political science from Johns Hopkins University.