Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Science Global Warming & Climate Change

Energy Culture

Art and Theory on Oil and Beyond

edited by Imre Szeman & Jeff Diamanti

West Virginia University Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2019
Global Warming & Climate Change, Environmental Conservation & Protection, Critical Theory, Fossil Fuels
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2019
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2019
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


Energy Culture is a provocative book about oil’s firm grip on our politics and everyday lives. It brings together essays and artwork produced in a collaborative environment to stimulate new ways of thinking and to achieve a more just and sustainable world.

The original work collected in Energy Culture creatively engages energy as a social form through lively arguments and artistic research organized around three vectors of inquiry. The first maps how fossil fuels became, and continue to be, embedded in North American society, from the ideology of tar sands reclamation projects to dreams of fiber optic cables running through the Northwest Passage. The second comprises creative and artistic responses to the dominance of fossil fuels in everyday life and to the challenge of realizing new energy cultures. The final section addresses the conceptual and political challenges posed by energy transition and calls into question established views on energy. Its contributions caution against solar capitalism, explore the politics of sabotage, and imagine an energy efficient transportation system called “the switch.” Imbued with a sense of urgency and hope, Energy Culture exposes the deep imbrications of energy and culture while pointing provocatively to ways of thinking and living otherwise.

About the authors

Imre Szeman holds the Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta and is the cofounder of the Petrocultures Research Group. He is the coauthor of After Oil and the coeditor of The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism.

Imre Szeman's profile page

Jeff Diamanti's profile page

Excerpt: Energy Culture: Art and Theory on Oil and Beyond (edited by Imre Szeman & Jeff Diamanti)

Editorial Reviews

“An exemplary multidisciplinary approach to entangled questions of energy, politics, and aesthetics. Energy Culture should excite and inspire an interdisciplinary community of scholars, artists, and activists; it not only points to possible ways forward for thinking and acting, but also offers tangible, provocative examples of what our creative and critical practices might do.”
Thomas S. Davis, author of The Extinct Scene: Late Modernism and Everyday Life