In the 150 years since the birth of the petroleum industry oil has saturated our culture, fueling our cars and wars, our economy and policies. But just as thoroughly, culture saturates oil. So what exactly "is" oil culture ? This book pursues an answer through petrocapitalism s history in literature, film, fine art, wartime propaganda, and museum displays. Investigating cultural discourses that have taken shape around oil, these essays compose the first sustained attempt to understand how petroleum has suffused the Western imagination.
The contributors to this volume examine the oil culture nexus, beginning with the whale oil culture it replaced and analyzing literature and films such as "Giant, Sundown," Bernardo Bertolucci s "La Via del Petrolio," and Ben Okri s What the Tapster Saw; corporate art, museum installations, and contemporary photography; and in apocalyptic visions of environmental disaster and science fiction. By considering oil as both a natural resource and a trope, the authors show how oil s dominance is part of culture rather than an economic or physical necessity. "Oil Culture" sees beyond oil capitalism to alternative modes of energy production and consumption.
Contributors: Georgiana Banita, U of Bamberg; Frederick Buell, Queens College; Gerry Canavan, Marquette U; Melanie Doherty, Wesleyan College; Sarah Frohardt-Lane, Ripon College, Matthew T. Huber, Syracuse U; Dolly Jorgensen, Umea U; Stephanie LeMenager, U of Oregon; Hanna Musiol, Northeastern U; Chad H. Parker, U of Louisiana at Lafayette; Ruth Salvaggio, U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Heidi Scott, Florida International U; Imre Szeman, U of Alberta; Michael Watts, U of California, Berkeley; Jennifer Wenzel, Columbia University; Sheena Wilson, U of Alberta; Rochelle Raineri Zuck, U of Minnesota Duluth; Catherine Zuromskis, U of New Mexico.