Coming Soon: When the Lights (and Heat) Went Out in Texas

Center for Public History Lecture Series Hosts Virtual Panel on Texas Winter Blackout

power pole

The University of Houston Center for Public History will host a live-stream event titled “When the Lights (and Heat) Went Out in Texas” on Tuesday, April 13.

The virtual event begins at 12 p.m. and features a panel of four guest speakers who will discuss the February 2021 Texas electric grid outage within the broader context of historical national blackouts. Panelists will illuminate immediate causes and long-term factors that contributed to the Texas electric grid outage. Further discussion will touch on the importance of power today and the national ethos surrounding similar events. To RSVP, click here.

Featured panelists include: Julie A. Cohn, research historian at the Center of Public History at the University of Houston, nonresident scholar at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy and author of “The Grid: Biography of an American Technology;” and David E. Nye, senior research fellow at the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota and author of “When the Lights Went Out.” Joseph Stromberg, professor of history at San Jacinto College, will moderate. Martin Melosi, Cullen Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Houston and author of “Fresh Kills: A History of Consuming and Discarding in New York City,” will introduce panelists and provide commentary.

“If we intend to find a way forward, we need to take this opportunity to think through the technical, political, economic and social implications of the Texas grid outage. We will begin with local topics and use that as a springboard to discuss topics on the national level,” Melosi said.

WHAT: “When the Lights (and Heat) Went Out in Texas: The Texas Blackout in Historical Context” virtual panel discussion

WHO: Hosted by the University of Houston Center for Public History 

WHEN: Tuesday, April 13, Noon- 2 p.m.

WHERE: A live-stream event. To RSVP, click here.

The UH Center for Public History Lecture Series provides a unique opportunity for Houston professionals, community leaders and others to consider historical, social and cultural perspectives directly related to the decisions they make. The series brings to the University of Houston and the larger Houston community scholars, artists and policymakers who shape our world and broaden our intellectual horizons.