Alison Kenner is an associate professor in the Department of Politics, with a joint appointment in the Center for Science, Technology and Society. Professor Kenner's research is concerned with human-environment relations in late industrialism, particularly how people inhabit their homes, think about and experience environments, and work to create change in the world. Working in the traditions of experimental and collaborative ethnography, Kenner’s research tacks between political economy, everyday life, and the infrastructures that underpin both. Her first book, Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), documents how care is materialized at different scales — from medication use to mobile phone apps and environmental policy – to address the U.S. asthma epidemic.
Kenner’s latest research, The Energy Rights Project, investigates energy vulnerability in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region, and looks at how organizations and government policies enable affordable access to water, electricity, and heating fuel. This project is funded by a National Science Foundation standard grant through the Science and Technology Studies Program.
Kenner’s teaching focuses on the politics of science, technology, and energy in society, and she offers courses on climate change, feminist political theory, and the politics of environmental health. Her courses are organized using feminist pedagogy, peer collaboration, and project-based learning.
Previously, Professor Kenner co-organized Climate Ready Philly with a team of nonprofit educators in Philadelphia. Between 2014-2020 she led the Philadelphia Health and Environment Ethnography Lab, which facilitated collaborative projects between Drexel students, governmental and nongovernmental partners, and community organizations.
Much of her academic work invests in the development of digital infrastructure for equitable scholarship and publishing. She is currently associate editor of Engaging Science, Technology, and Society, an open access journal of the Society for Social Studies of Science, and she has been involved in the development of the Platform for Collaborative and Experimental Ethnography since 2013.