Miller Center

Christopher Jones

History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Energy Highways: Canals, Pipes, and Wires Transform the Mid-Atlantic

Jones photo

Christopher Jones is Assistant Professor of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.

Jones is a historian of energy, technology, and environment who studies how we have come to use and depend on fossil fuel energy sources and how these decisions have changed the ways we live, work, and play. 

Jone's dissertation argued that energy transporters occupied a central position between producers and consumers and actively shaped the mid-Atlantic's energy history through choices about how canals, pipes, and wires were built, how they were operated, and where they went. His project consisted of three sections analyzing the transportation and consumption of coal (1820–1860), oil (1860–1900) and electricity (1900–1930). In his work, Jones drew on and integrated the insights of historians of technology, energy, industrialization, regional development, and the environment. He additionally highlighted the social effects of the transportation of energy and included social policy implications.

Fellowship year: 2009

Mentor: John McNeill, Georgetown University

Selected Recent Publications

Christopher Jones is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Routes of Power: Energy and Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2014).

← Return to Fellowship home