Atabaki, Touraj, Bini, Elisabetta, Ehsani, Kaveh (Eds.). 2018. Working for Oil. Comparative Social Histories of Labor in the Global Oil Industry, Palgrave McMillan.
This volume examines the social history of oil workers and investigates how labor relations have shaped the global oil industry during the twentieth century and today. It brings together the work of scholars from a range of disciplines, approaching the social, political, economic and cultural dimensions of oil. The contributors analyze a number of key oil producing regions, including the Americas, the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Europe and Africa.
About the editors: Touraj Atabaki is Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Social History at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science. He also holds the chair of the Social History of the Middle East and Central Asia at the School of the Middle East Studies of the Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Elisabetta Bini is Resarch Fellow at the University of Trieste, Italy. Her current research revolves around the history of international oil politics, in particular in the ways in which oil politics shaped relations between North Africa, Western Europe, and the United States after World War Two.
Kaveh Ehsani is Assistant Porfessor of International Studies at DePaul University, USA. His fields of interest include urban geography, critical social theory, and the political economy of development projects and their social and environmental repercussions. He is a regular media commentator and analyst on Iranian politics.
Centre for Visual Arts and Culture
Public Lecture by Professor Janet Stewart “Extractive Seeing: On the Visual Culture of Oil”
7th March 2017, 18:00, Room 405, Business School, Durham University
Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC) Annual Lecture on Environments and Visual Culture. Professor Janet Stewart, Head of School in Modern Languages and Cultures will deliver this public lecture.
This paper is part of a larger research project, Curating Europe’s Oil, which sets out to investigate the role that archives (of different kinds) and museums have in constructing and potentially deconstructing existing narratives about fossil fuels that make possible particular behaviours and responses, while closing down or erasing others. It considers the role that oil plays in twenty-first century cultural memory in Europe, investigating how Europe’s oil history is being archived, narrated and displayed in key cultural institutions, showing how an understanding of the processes through which the experience of ‘living with oil’ in Europe has been catalogued, controlled and challenged are invaluable in imagining new narratives of possible energy futures. This paper explores one aspect of the larger project, arguing that a particular way of seeing, linked to the 20th century’s dependence on fossil fuels, in general, and oil, in particular, comes to dominate in the construction of the visual record of Europe’s oil dependencies, and in the way in which that visual record is interpreted. The paper introduces the concept of ‘extractive seeing’, and employs it to frame an investigation of the visual culture of oil in Austria, a country not often immediately associated with Europe’s oil history.
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