Environmental Humanities Reading Group: Let’s Talk Petroculture (with Jeff Diamanti)

“Pointing didactically to hyperobjects like the climate or global warming isn’t likely to generate a change in my fellow citizens. But I’ve found that engaging [people] with a story about energy, about our demand for it and the limits of its availability, and about the consequences of its use – at once geopolitical and environmental – shifts the frame of reference; it moves the analysis from the abstraction of the climate to the reality of the gas tank. It enables us to have a discussion too, about one of the things too often hidden in regular discussions of global warming: the past, present, and future of oil capitalism and the petrocultures it has generated.” Imre Szeman 4 On Petrocultures.

Join us for the last session of the environmental humanities reading group before the summer on Petrocultures. In this session we will familiarize ourselves with concepts like ‘petroculture,’ ‘petromelancholia,’ and ‘the energy unconscious.’ The reading includes recent work by leading scholars in the field, including some forthcoming work by Imre Szeman and Jeff Diamanti. Jeff, who is a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam will also be leading the session. In order to get your hands on the reading material email: lauraodbeke@hotmail.com

  • Yaeger Patricia. “Editer’s column: Literature in the Ages of Wood, Tallow, Coal, Whale Oil, Gasoline, Atomic Power, and Other Energy Sources.” MLA, 2011.
  • Szeman, Imre. “Introduction.” On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture and Energy. Morgantown: West Virginia UP, 2019.
  • Szeman, Imre and Jeff Diamanti. “Introduction.” Energy Cultures. Morgantown: West Virginia UP, 2019.

Date: June 27th, 19:00 – 21:00

Location: VU Campus, room HG-12A37

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