After Oil School 2: Solarity (2019)

Solarity: After Oil School 2 was organized by the Petrocultures Research Group and the Grierson Chair in Communication Studies. A follow-up to the successful After Oil School held in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2015, Solarity gathered fifty international scholars, students, artists, activists and practitioners for three days of intensive reflection and collaboration on the challenges and possibilities of a social transition to energy systems and communities organized around the energy of the sun.

What social conditions would be required to initiate and sustain an energy transition animated by solarity, and what might arise from such a transition? What can the history of diverse cultures of solarity teach us about this possibility? What infrastructures, architectures, institutions, practices and relationships would be implicated in a transition to solarity? Under what conditions might solarity imply solidarity? What will solarity look, feel and sound like?

Animated by contemporary ferment in the fields of energy and environmental humanities, these questions guided the curriculum and collaborative work of Solarity: After Oil School 2, which included public events, a multi-media archive and on-site collaborative work aimed at making a concrete, ongoing contribution to public consideration of the challenge and potential of energy transition.

Several Solarity collaborators and colleagues published their findings in the January 2021 issue of South Atlantic Quarterly. In 2022, the University of Minnesota Press published a book (Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice) collectively authored during and after the Solarity gathering and edited by Darin Barney and Ayesha Vemuri.