Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Oil Culture - Minnesota Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Oil Culture

Ross Barrett and Daniel Worden


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, the book composes the first sustained attempt to understand how petroleum has suffused the Western imagination. The chapters examine the oil culture nexus, beginning with th ... More

Keywords: petroleum industry, oil culture, petrocapitalism, wartime propaganda, museum displays, environmental disaster, science fiction, films, photography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780816689682
Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015 DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816689682.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ross Barrett, editor
Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Penn State

Daniel Worden, editor

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.



Part I Oil’s Origins of Modernization

2 The Wizard of Oil

Rochelle Raineri Zuck

Part II Oil’s Golden Age: Literature, Film, and Propaganda

6 Fossil-Fuel Futurity

Daniel Worden

8 From Isfahan to Ingolstadt

Georgiana Banita

Part III The Local and Global Territories of Oil

10 Oil Frontiers

Michael Watts

12 Refined Politics

Matthew T. Huber

13 Gendering Oil

Sheena Wilson

Part IV Exhibiting Oil

14 Mixing Oil and Water

Dolly Jørgensen

16 Fossil, Fuel

Stephanie Lemenager

Part V The Future of and without Oil

18 Crude Aesthetics

Imre Szeman

19 Oil and Dust

Melanie Doherty

End Matter