Just Powers Podcast

S1E0 – On Petrocultures: Or, Why We Need to Understand Oil to Understand Everything Else

Introducing the Just Powers Podcast!

The Just Powers Podcast features readings and discussions of scholarly work focused on the pressing energy and environmental issues of our times. The first iteration of the podcast features a series of ‘Read & Records’ (or R&Rs) that highlight scholarly work by feminist and decolonial scholars that have informed both the thinking and practices of the Just Powers team, and that we hope can likewise influence the way others think through our current conundrum.

For our first episode, we are excited to share a Read & Record of the introduction to the recently published (2018) book Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, edited by Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson, and Imre Szeman.

Petrocultures provides much-needed research that addresses head-on the conceptual, philosophical, and theoretical challenges that emerge from a sustained examination of the social and cultural significance of energy in various forms—oil being only the most prevalent form at present.

“Oil and its outcomes – speed, plastics, and the luxuries of capitalism, to name a few – have lubricated our relationship to one another and the environment for the duration of the twentieth century. As we struggle to transition to less carbon-intensive energies and lifestyles, this collection provides scholars and engaged publics with a more nuanced understanding of oil as an energy source and substance imbricated into every aspect of our daily lived realities. Oil transformed our lives in the twentieth century. Might we transform our lives in the twenty-first century, reshaping our petrocultures into societies whose energy use doesn’t imperil the future and the environment we inhabit?” (Wilson, Szeman, & Carlson, 2018, p. 15-16).

The book is available from McGill-Queen’s University Press, and is also available from Amazon.

Reference: Carlson, Adam; Wilson, Sheena; Szeman, Imre. Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018.