Adriana Petryna, professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and an SAR summer scholar in 2014, published an op-ed essay in the July 10, 2022, issue of the Los Angeles Times that builds on her recent book, Horizon Work: At the Edges of Knowledge in an Age of Runaway Climate Change (Princeton University Press, 2022). In her message to SAR, Petryna notes that work on the book began while she was at SAR and incorporates interviews of scientists and firefighters conducted during her time in New Mexico.
Princeton University Press describes Horizon Work as a book that “examines the climate crisis through the lens of ‘horizoning,’ a mode of reckoning that considers unnatural disasters against a horizon of expectation in which people and societies can act.” The press release continues: “[Petryna] talks to wildfire scientists who, amid chaotic fire seasons and shifting fire behaviors, are revising predictive models calibrated to conditions that no longer exist. Petryna tells the stories of wildland firefighters who could once rely on memory of previous fires to gauge the behaviors of the next. Trust in patterns has become an occupational hazard. Sometimes, the very concept of projection becomes untenable. Yet if all we see is doom, we will overlook something crucial about the scientific and ethical labor needed to hold back climate chaos. Here is where the work of horizoning begins.”
We’re pleased to congratulate Professor Petryna for publication of a work that could hardly be more timely and relevant to recent events here in New Mexico.