Portrait of Gökçe Günel

Gökçe Günel

Baker Institute Rice Faculty Scholar | Associate Professor of Anthropology


Gökçe Günel, Ph.D., is a Baker Institute Rice faculty scholar at the Edward P. Djerejian Center for the Middle East and an associate professor in anthropology at Rice University. Her latest book “Spaceship in the Desert: Energy, Climate Change and Urban Design in Abu Dhabi” (Duke University Press, 2019) focuses on the construction of renewable energy and clean technology infrastructures in the United Arab Emirates, concentrating on the Masdar City project. Currently, she is at work on a second book provisionally titled “Energy Accumulation.” This book seeks to criticize the unilinear logics of the energy transition narrative by studying the emergence of a Turkish-built floating power plant in Ghana.

Günel has served as the Cultures of Energy Mellon-Sawyer Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice University (2012-2013), the ACLS New Faculty Fellow and Lecturer at Columbia University (2013-2016), and an assistant professor in Middle East and North African Studies at the University of Arizona (2016-2019). She has published articles in Limn, Ephemera, Engineering Studies, Public Culture, Anthropological Quarterly, The Yearbook of Comparative Literature, The ARPA Journal, Avery Review, PoLAR, Log, e-flux, Perspecta, South Atlantic Quarterly and Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. She has contributed to edited volumes, including Climates: Architecture and the Planetary Imaginary (Lars Müller, 2016), Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon (Punctum Press, 2019), The New Arab Urban: Gulf Cities of Wealth, Ambition, and Distress (NYU Press, 2019), Frontier Assemblages (Wiley, 2019) and Extinct: A Compendium of Obsolete Objects (Reaktion Books, 2021). Günel co-authored "A Manifesto for Patchwork Ethnography" (2020), and co-leads Patchwork Ethnography.

She earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from Cornell University.

Contact at gg15@rice.edu.