Research Fellow, Department of Social Anthropology
Sean is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Energy Ethics and in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. Since late-2018, Sean’s research has focused on how financial professionals ethically and financially value energy. His ethnographic work explores the calculation of risk, the performance of financial expertise, the valuation of energy resources, and the integration of ESG into investment practices.
A key implication of his research is that the world of finance is central to the materialization of our collective energy and anthropogenic landscapes. Sean’s project is part of the larger Energy Ethics research project led by Dr Mette High and funded by the European Research Council.
He is the convenor of the Department of Social Anthropology’s Departmental Seminar Series, the co-founder and lead organizer of the Energy Café, the founder of the Energy and Climate Finance Network, and the lead organiser of the Art of Energy.
Sean has recently taught:
- The Anthropology of Energy (SA4064) in the Department of Social Anthropology with Dr Pauline Destrée, which was awarded a 2021 Golden Dandelion Prize for excellence in education for sustainable development.
- Environmental Ethics at Work a Vertically Integrated Project at the University of St Andrews, led by Dr Louise Reid and Dr Mette High.
Before relocating to St Andrews, Sean was a Lecturer in Economic Geography at the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography (Mississauga campus) and an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies. Sean has also been an Adjunct Professor in Queen’s University’s Department of Geography and Planning and Smith School of Business.
Field, S. (in preparation). Carbon Capital: US Hydrocarbon Finance in an Anthropogenic Era.
Peer Reviewed Articles:
Field S. (in preparation). White Oil – Responsibility and the Corporeal Limits of Expertise in the US Energy Capital.
Field S. (in preparation). Oily Entanglements in the US Hydrocarbon Capital.
Field S, Nikolaevab R, & Tskhayc A. (under review). ). We’re lying to ourselves: The dilemma of hydrocarbon investing.
Field S. 2022. Carbon Capital: The financial lexicon and allegories of the US oil and gas sector. Economy & Society; (online first) available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03085147.2022.2030606.
Field S. 2022. Risk and Responsibility: Private Equity Financiers and the US Shale Revolution. Economic Anthropology 9(1): 47-59; available from: https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/sea2.12221.
Field S. 2021. Power and precariousness in the expert hierarchies of the US hydrocarbon industry. Critique of Anthropology 41(3): 303-319; available from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0308275X211038608.
Field S. 2017. Examining the Influence of Intellectuals on Commodity Speculation. Geoforum 83 (July): 71-79; available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016718517301094.
Field S. 2016. The financialization of food and the 2008–2011 food price spikes. Environment and Planning A 48 (11): 2272-2290; available from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0308518X16658476.
Massey J & Field S. 2015. Can They Teach Each Other? The Restructuring of Higher Education and the Rise of Undergraduate Student ‘Teachers’ in Ontario. Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs 1; available from: http://ecommons.luc.edu/jcshesa/vol1/iss1/4/.
Massey J, Field S & Chan Y. 2014. Partnering for economic development: How town-gown relations impact local economic development in small and medium cities. Canadian Journal of Higher Education 44 (2): 152-169; available from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1038389.pdf.
Field S, Masakure O & Henson S. 2010. Rethinking localization – a low income country perspective: the case of Asian vegetables in Ghana. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 3(2): 261-275; available from: https://academic.oup.com/cjres/article-abstract/3/2/261/447368?redirectedFrom=fulltext.
Governmental & Policy Submissions
Field S, High MM, Skrzypek E & Ulph D. 2022. Written evidence: Inquiry on Energy pricing and the future of the Energy Market. UK Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee; available from: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1698/energy-pricing-and-the-future-of-the-energy-market/publications/written-evidence/.
Field S, High MM & Skrzypek E. 2022. Written evidence (CCE0053): Mobilising action on climate change and environment: behaviour change. The House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee; available from: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1621/mobilising-action-on-climate-change-and-environment-behaviour-change/publications/.
Field S. (in press). Book Review: The Current Economy – Electricity Markets and Techno-economics. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 28(2).
Field S. 2022. Book Review: Norms and Illegality – Intimate Ethnographies and Politics. American Ethnologist 49(1): 134-135; available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/amet.13055.
Field S. 2021. Book Review: Financialization: Relational Approaches. Anthropological Notebooks 27(1); available from: http://notebooks.drustvo-antropologov.si/Notebooks/issue/view/57.
Field S. 2021. Natural Gas in the UK, Part 1: Infrastructures & Geopolitics. The Energy Blog; available from: https://energyethics.st-andrews.ac.uk/blog/natural-gas-in-the-uk-part-1-infrastructures-geopolitics/.
Field S & High MM. 2021. Oil, Oil, Who wants some oil? Part 5: Betting on the Future. The Energy Blog; available from: https://energyethics.st-andrews.ac.uk/blog/oil-oil-who-wants-some-oil-part-5-betting-on-the-future/.
Field S. 2021. Book Review: Poverty as Ideology: Rescuing Social Justice from Global Development Agendas. Studies in Social Justice 15(1); available from: https://journals.library.brocku.ca/index.php/SSJ/article/view/2437.
Field S & High MM. 2020. Oil, Oil, Who wants some oil? Part 4: The Brent Crude Complex. The Energy Blog; available from: https://energyethics.st-andrews.ac.uk/blog/oil-oil-who-wants-some-oil-part-4-the-brent-crude-complex/.
Field S. 2020. Book Review: Organizing the 1%: How Corporate Power Works. Studies in Social Justice 14(1); available from: https://journals.library.brocku.ca/index.php/SSJ/article/view/2273.
Field S & High MM. 2020. Oil, Oil, Who wants some oil? Part 3: Anticipating the future and financializing oil. The Energy Blog; available from: https://energyethics.st-andrews.ac.uk/blog/oil-oil-who-wants-some-oil-part-3-anticipating-the-future-and-financializing-oil/.
High MM & Field S. 2020. Oil, Oil, Who wants some oil? Part 2: Pipelines and Oil Prices. The Energy Blog; available from: https://energyethics.st-andrews.ac.uk/blog/oil-oil-who-wants-some-oil-part-2-pipelines-and-oil-prices/.
High MM & Field S. 2020. Oil, Oil, Who wants some oil? Part 1: Reflections on Oil Infrastructures at a Time of Negative Oil Prices. The Energy Blog; available from: https://energyethics.st-andrews.ac.uk/blog/oil-oil-who-wants-some-oil-reflections-on-oil-infrastructures-at-a-time-of-negative-oil-price/.
Field S. 2018. Venezuela: It’s all about the oil. Antipode; available from: https://antipodefoundation.org/2018/08/10/venezuela-its-all-about-the-oil/.
Field S, Egan R & T Beesley. 2017. Applying G-Theory and Multivariate G-Analysis to improve Clinical Data quality and performance assessment accuracy. OHSE Working Paper; available from:
Field S. 2014. Book Review: Blue-Green Province: The Environment and the Political Economy of Ontario. The Canadian Geographer 58 (1); e13-e14; available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cag.12069/abstract.
Conference Papers, Presentations & Guest Lectures
Field S. (forthcoming 2022). The shifting value(s) of natural gas: From oil’s excess nuisance to valued transition fuel. Excesses of oil, Petrocultures, 24-27 August.
Field S. (forthcoming 2022). Accounting for climate change. Bodies, Affects, Senses and Emotions: Responsibility & Blame, Nordic Ethnology and Folklore Conference 13-15 June.
Field S. (forthcoming 2022). Value as Ethics – Dissent and the Status Quo in the face of Anthropogenic Climate Change. Value and Change, Value in Crisis, Society for Economic Anthropology Annual Meeting, 1-2 June.
Field S. 2022. Accounting for climate change. University of St Andrews, Department of Social Anthropology Seminar Series, 22 April.
Field S. 2022. Carbon Capital: The financial lexicon and allegories of the US oil and gas sector. Extractivism and Transition Research Online Dialogues (ETROD), 31 March.
Field S. 2022. Storing value & capturing hydrocarbons: Oily entanglements in the US hydrocarbon capital. New Political Ecologies of Storage: Holding Matter and Value in Place in the 21st Century. American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, 26 February.
Field S. 2022. Carbon Capital: The financial lexicon and allegories of the US oil and gas sector. University of St Andrews, Department of Geography and Sustinable Development, Geographies of Sustainability, Society, Inequalities and Possibilities Group, 19 January.
Field S. 2021. Power and precariousness in the expert hierarchies of the US hydrocarbon industry. The Anthropology of Power Versus the Anthropology of the Powerful. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 18 November.
Field S. 2021. New Book Round Table (Chair & Discussant), with Canay Özden-Schilling, Peter Newell, and Ewan Gibbs. Energy Ethics 2021: Energy Transitions & Planetary Futures, University of St Andrews, 27 October.
Field S. 2021. ETHICS-2021 – Jessica Smith author meets critics (Invited Speaker). IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society, 30 October.
Field S. 2021. Timely Fad or Systemic Shift? The rise of ESG in the US hydrocarbon sector. Finance’s Pandemic Promises: Questioning impact and the Covid-driven surge in sustainable investing. Impact Hau, The Hau of Finance: Impact Investing and the Globalization of Social and Environmental Sustainability; Dipartimento di Beni Culturali, University of Bologna, 7-8 October.
Field S. 2021. Old Problems, New Context and Responses. UK-Russia University Alliance 2020/2021, The Global Food Crisis: Science Solutions, 27 October.
Field S. 2021. Invited Guest Lecture: Financial Futures and Energy Innovations. Energy Finance & Transactions; Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University, Texas, 23 August.
Field S, and Tripathy A. 2021. Financing Energy, Climate & The Future. Energy Café, Organized by S Field and M High; available from: https://energyethics.st-andrews.ac.uk/events/energy-cafe-6/.
Field, S. 2021. White Oil – Responsibility and the Corporeal Limits of Expertise in the US Energy Capital. Panel: Who Speaks for Energy? Responsibility and authority in the ethnographies of energy in an era of anthropogenic climate change. ASA2021: RESPONSIBILITY, Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK, Panel organized by M High, P Destrée, and S Field.
Field, S. 2021. Power and precarity in the expert hierarchies of the US hydrocarbon industry. Online panel organized by D. Souleles & M. Archer, Copenhagen School of Business.
Field, S. 2020 Liquid Futures: financial perspectives on oil and gas from Houston Texas. Energy Ethics 2020, University of St Andrews.
Field, S. 2020. White Oil – Responsibility and the Corporeal Limits of Expertise in the US Energy Capital. Panel: Who Speaks for Energy? Online panel organized by M High, P Destrée, and S Field, Energy Ethics Research Group, University of St Andrews.
Field, Sean. 2017. Financial corporations dominate our food system & strategies for resistance. Lecture Me! Experiential Education Office, University of Toronto, Mississauga, December 5th.
Field, Sean. 2017. Examining the Influence of Intellectuals on Commodity Speculation and Global Food Price Volatility. Special Session – Critical Geographies of Financial Inclusion, Canadian Association of Geographers, York University, Canada, 29 May – 2 June.
Field, Sean. 2017. The financialization of food and the 2008–2011 food price spikes. Studies in National and International Development (SNID), Queen’s University, Canada, 19 January.