Gretchen Anna Bakke

Visiting Scholar (Jun 2019-Jun 2021)

Gretchen Bakke holds a PhD from the University of Chicago in Cultural Anthropology. Her work focuses on the chaos and creativity that emerge during social, cultural, and technological transitions. After a decade of researching and writing about the energy transition in the United States, her current work focuses on decarbonization—as it is imagined and built towards, but also as it fails. Bakke is a former fellow in Wesleyan University’s Science in Society Program, a former Fulbright fellow, and is currently a guest professor at Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment (IRI THESys) at Humboldt University. Edited volumes (together with Marina Peterson) include Between Matter and Method: Encounters in Anthropology and Art (2017) and Anthropology and the Arts: A Reader (2017). Her book The Grid was selected by Bill Gates as one of his top five reads of 2016. Born in Portland, Oregon, Bakke lives in Berlin.


A Cultural History of the End of Fossil Fuels


IV. Knowledge in and of the Anthropocene


Material Practices: Earth in the Making


No projects were found for this scholar.

Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

“Pivoting toward Energy Transition 2.0”


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

“Electricity as Ecology”

Glasgow University

Glasgow, Scotland

“Energetic Environments”
Automated Environments

Goethe Institut and the Canadian Centre for Architecture

Montréal, QC

“On Reliability”

The Royal Irish Academy

Dublin, Ireland

“Infrastructure for a Changing Climate: Energy”
Cities, Climate Change and the Problem of Resilience

Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

Stanford University, Stanford CA

News & Press

Visiting Scholar Gretchen Bakke on bioeconomy for the podcast


Visiting Scholar Gretchen Bakke on bioeconomy for the podcast


Gretchen Bakke, Benjamin Steininger, & Helge Wendt in MaxPlanckForschung on the topic of fossil fuels