Petrocultures 2022: Transformations

The biennial Petrocultures conference, twice postponed due to COVID-19, took place August 24-27, 2022 in Stavanger, Norway.

Click here for the final conference program.

Keynote speakers:

Thursday, August 25, 2022: Cyril Obi, Program Director, Social Science Research Council, New York (Presented with commentary by Camilla Houeland, FaFo, Norway). View the recording on YouTube.

Friday, August 26, 2022: Oxana Timofeeva, Professor, Stasis Center for Practical Philosophy, European University at St. Petersberg (Presented with commentary by Jordan Kinder, McGill University). View the recording on YouTube.

Saturday, August 27, 2022: Cara Daggett, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Virginia Tech (Presented with commentary by Siddhart Sareen, UiS, Norway). View the recording on YouTube.

The organizers also put together a highlight reel, which can be viewed here.

Petrocultures 2022: Transformations – Call for Papers *THE APPLICATION WINDOW IS NOW CLOSED*

We live in turbulent times, and the role of petroleum is at the heart of global and local political debate about how we should rebuild after COVID-19 and address our worsening crises of climate and international stability. A transition to a world without oil as its primary source of fuel and energy is vital if we are to reach the climate targets set by the Paris Agreement, but the pathway, feasibility, and timing of such an unprecedented transition is still hotly debated. We know that oil will come to an end, but whether its closing date is set by emptied reservoirs, greener alternatives, or political decisions, is still to be determined. Recognizing that the “age of oil” is being challenged, petrocultures2022 invites scholars and artists, journalists and activists, politicians and business actors to engage critically in the debate and the transition to alternatives. The conference will be held at the Norwegian Petroleum Museum and a nearby conference venue in Stavanger, the energy capital of Norway.

Petrocultures2022 will host presentations, exhibits, and conversations about the transformations needed to influence the transition from our current culture and dependency on oil. Looming over these discussions, we recognize, is the wealth and progress that our use of oil has enabled. We acknowledge the technical and structural solutions developed and renewable transitions initiated by parts of the petroleum industry. We observe the linkages that exist between the burning of fossil fuels, human induced climate change, and differing levels of socio-environmental conflict. We thus emphasize oil’s dual role as the basis of prosperity and its implication in environmental destruction and global conflict. We are also keenly aware of the deep social and political divides that have widened over recent years, which will impact our ability to achieve a just and inclusive transition.

Accepting these realities, we aim to create a forum for a constructive exchange about the way green transition initiatives are narrated—including the way oil is narrated in the past, present, and future—across social and political divides. We also want to investigate how the petroleum industry can/will be a part of this transition, and what consequences the transition will have for the workers presently depending on the industry. Worker participation in the industry has historically and may in the future be a central aspect to reduce the inherent conflicts of a transition. Energy transition must be a collective effort, and at petrocultures2022, we hope to explore the transformations that might get us there.