Dear friends, colleagues, and visitors,
Welcome to the revised and revamped Petrocultures website!
2021 marks the end of the first decade in the life of the Petrocultures Research Group (PRG). During this time, the researchers and students in the PRG, in conjunction with partner organizations around the world, have played a key role in redefining how we collectively think about energy. The PRG has shown the importance of energy to scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, and in turn, has highlighted why such research is vital for explorations of energy more generally. We plan to continue this work over the next decade, expanding and extending our research to account for the social, political, and cultural developments that distinguish 2021 from 2011. Our new site is designed to share ongoing research in Petrocultures and the energy humanities, and to provide information on a range of related events and activities.
The launch of this new website comes at an opportune time. 2021 marks a significant moment in ongoing struggles over the future shape of energy and society. Bill McKibben has suggested that the recent series of environmental policy decisions made by US President Joe Biden “may well mark the official beginning of the end of the fossil-fuel era,” though similar declarations have been prematurely made in the past. Unsurprisingly, there has been significant pushback from industry and by some governments to make sure this doesn’t happen. While the use of and commitment to renewable energies continue to expand in countries, regions, and communities around the world, greenwashing and techno-utopianism persist in confusing and impeding the adoption of new forms of energies and new ways of living with the speed required to mitigate climate change. The current Alberta government’s anti-Alberta energy inquiry is one of the most extreme examples of this practice. It should stand as a reminder of just how much is at stake in energy research at the present moment, particularly of the sort conducted by the PRG.
Petrocultures researchers stand ready to continue to lend their insights to the struggle to produce new cultures of energy. We hope you will join us by visiting our website to learn about PRG research and the events we plan to organize, including the biennial Petrocultures conference.