Petrocultures

... importance has not been determinately and precisely figured in culture – a great deal of work on petrocultures has examined the relationship between fossil fuels and literary representation. An early Introduction: On Petrocultures 5.

Petrocultures

Contemporary life is founded on oil – a cheap, accessible, and rich source of energy that has shaped cities and manufacturing economies at the same time that it has increased mobility, global trade, and environmental devastation. Despite oil’s essential role, full recognition of its social and cultural significance has only become a prominent feature of everyday debate and discussion in the early twenty-first century. Presenting a multifaceted analysis of the cultural, social, and political claims and assumptions that guide how we think and talk about oil, Petrocultures maps the complex and often contradictory ways in which oil has influenced the public’s imagination around the world. This collection of essays shows that oil’s vast network of social and historical narratives and the processes that enable its extraction are what characterize its importance, and that its circulation through this immense web of relations forms worldwide experiences and expectations. Contributors’ essays investigate the discourses surrounding oil in contemporary culture while advancing and configuring new ways to discuss the cultural ecosystem that it has created. A window into the social role of oil, Petrocultures also contemplates what it would mean if human life were no longer deeply shaped by the consumption of fossil fuels.

Geoengineering Persuasion and the Climate Crisis

Imre Szeman, After Oil (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2016); Energy Culture: Art and Theory on Oil and Beyond (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2019); On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture, ...

Geoengineering  Persuasion  and the Climate Crisis

A rhetorical exploration of an underexamined side of climate change—the ongoing research into and development of geoengineering strategies Geoengineering, Persuasion, and the Climate Crisis: A Geologic Rhetoric exposes the deeply worrying state of discourse over geoengineering—the intentional manipulation of the earth’s climate as means to halt or reverse global warming. These climate-altering projects, which range from cloud-whitening to carbon dioxide removal and from stratospheric aerosol injection to enhanced weathering, are all technological solutions to more complex geosocial problems. Geoengineering represents one of the most alarming forms of deliberative discourse in the twenty-first century. Yet geoengineering could easily generate as much harm as the environmental traumas it seeks to cure. Complicating these deliberations is the scarcity of public discussion. Most deliberations transpire within policy groups, behind the closed doors of climate-oriented startups, between subject-matter experts at scientific conferences, or in the disciplinary jargon of research journals. Further, much of this conversation occurs primarily in the West. Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder makes clear how the deliberative rhetorical strategies coming from geoengineering advocates have been largely deceptive, hegemonic, deterministic, and exploitative. In this volume, he investigates how geoengineering proponents marshal geologic actors into their arguments—and how current discourse could lead to a greater exploitation of the earth in the future. Pflugfelder’s goal is to understand the structure, content, purpose, and effect of these discourses, raise the alarm about their deliberative directions, and help us rethink our approach to the climate. In highlighting both the inherent problems of the discourses and the ways geologic rhetoric can be made productive, he attempts to give “the geologic” a place at the table to better understand the roles that all earth systems continue to play in our lives, now and for years to come.

On Petrocultures

These essays explore life lived in the twenty-first century by examining critically the vocabulary through which capitalism makes sense of itself, focusing on concepts like the nation, globalization, neoliberalism, creativity, and ...

On Petrocultures

On Petrocultures brings together key essays by Imre Szeman, a leading scholar in the field of energy humanities and a critical voice in debates about globalization and neoliberalism. Szeman's most important and influential essays, in dialogue with exciting new pieces written for the book, investigate ever-evolving circuits of power in the contemporary world, as manifested in struggles over space and belonging, redefinitions of work and individual autonomy, and the deep links between energy use and climate change. These essays explore life lived in the twenty-first century by examining critically the vocabulary through which capitalism makes sense of itself, focusing on concepts like the nation, globalization, neoliberalism, creativity, and entrepreneurship. At the heart of the volume is the concept of "petrocultures," which demands that we understand a fundamental fact of modern life: we are shaped by and through fossil fuels. Szeman argues that we cannot take steps to address global warming without fundamentally changing the social, cultural, and political norms and expectations developed in conjunction with the energy riches of the past century. On Petrocultures maps the significant challenge of our dependence on fossil fuels and probes ways we might begin to leave petrocultures behind.

Of Modern Extraction

27 Imre Szeman et al., “Introduction,” in After Oil (Edmonton: Petrocultures Research Group, 2016), 9–12 (9). See also, Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson, and Imre Szeman (eds), Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture (Chicago: McGill-Queen's ...

Of Modern Extraction

Predominant climate change narratives emphasize a global emissions problem, while diagnoses of environmental crises have long focused a modern loss of meaning, value, and enchantment in nature. Yet neither of these common portrayals of environmental emergency adequately account for the ways climate change is rooted in extractivisms that have been profoundly enchanted. The proposed critical petro-theology analyzes the current energy driven climate crisis through critical gender, race, decolonial, and postsecular lenses. Both predominant narratives obscure the entanglements of bodies and energy: how energy concepts and practices have consistently delineated genres of humanity and how energy systems and technologies have shaped bodies. Consequently, these analytical and ethical aims inform an exploration of alternative embodied energies that can be attended to in the disrupted time/space of energy intensive, extractive capitalism.

Gasoline Dreams

Waking Up from Petroculture Simon Orpana. Schopenhauer, Arthur. 1958. ... In Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, edited by Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson, and Imre Szeman, 287–318. Montreal QC: McGill-Queens University Press.

Gasoline Dreams

A graphic novel that confronts our habits, narratives, and fantasies head-on to help break our petroleum dependency What if the biggest barriers to responding to climate change are not technological or governmental but, rather, cultural? In other words, what if we ourselves could help to enact change through a deeper understanding of our petroleum dependency? In a provocative graphic format that draws widely from history, critical theory, and popular culture, Gasoline Dreams explores and challenges the ways fossil fuels have shaped our identities, relationships, and our ability to imagine sustainable, equitable futures. As our rapidly warming planet is pushed toward ecological collapse, we might often feel helpless or paralyzed by the enormity of the challenges confronting us. However, reflecting upon the cultural dimensions of our predicament helps reveal the great potential for social transformation inherent in the multiplying crises. Author and artist Simon Orpana engages with contemporary scholarship in the emergent field of Energy Humanities to confront the habits, narratives, and fantasies that support our attachment to fossil fuels. By revealing the many ways petroculture repeatedly fails to deliver on its promises of “the good life,” Gasoline Dreams calls us to the difficult work of waking up from the fantasies that inhibit us from working toward a global transition to renewable energy. Written in an engaging graphic format that makes relevant historical, cultural, and political analyses of global warming and petrol dependency important to a wide audience, Gasoline Dreams refutes the progress narratives that depict contemporary, energy-intensive societies as the inevitable product of human history. By revealing the contingencies, coercions, and compulsions this myth disguises, the book allows us to imagine truly progressive alternatives. Rather than casting climate change as a problem for technological elites to solve, the book confronts the everyday realities that reinforce our dependence on fossil fuels, offering a space of hope and engagement from which concerned people can work to build a more sustainable future. On the threshold of the single greatest transformation the human species has yet faced, Gasoline Dreams challenges us to start living, working, and dreaming differently to become less culturally dependent on petroleum.

Ecological Exile

petroculture-strategies-for-a-left-energy-transition. Szeman, Imre, and the Petrocultures Group. 2016. After Oil. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press. Tett, Gillian. 2009. Fool's Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream ...

Ecological Exile

Ecological Exile explores how contemporary literature, film, and media culture confront ecological crises through perspectives of spatial justice – a facet of social justice that looks at unjust circumstances as a phenomenon of space. Growing instances of flooding, population displacement, and pollution suggest an urgent need to re-examine the ways social and geographical spaces are perceived and valued in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Maintaining that ecological crises are largely socially produced, Derek Gladwin considers how British and Irish literary and visual texts by Ian McEwan, Sarah Gavron, Eavan Boland, John McGrath, and China Miéville, among others, respond to and confront various spatial injustices resulting from fossil fuel production and the effects of climate change. This ambitious book offers a new spatial perspective in the environmental humanities by focusing on what the philosopher Glenn Albrecht has termed solastalgia, or a feeling of homesickness caused by environmental damage. The result of solastalgia is that people feel paradoxically ecologically exiled in the places they continue to live because of destructive environmental changes. Gladwin skilfully traces spatially produced instances of ecological injustice that literally and imaginatively abolish people’s sense of place (or place-home). By looking at two of the most pressing social and environmental concerns – oil and climate – Ecological Exile shows how literary and visual texts have documented spatially unjust effects of solastalgia. This interdisciplinary book will appeal to students, scholars, and professionals studying literary, film, and media texts that draw on environment and sustainability, cultural geography, energy cultures, climate change, and social justice.

Right Research

11 Petrocultures Research Group, After Oil (Edmonton: University of Alberta, Department of English and Film Studies, 2016); Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson and Imre Szeman, eds., Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture (Montreal: ...

Right Research

The book is current and interdisciplinary, engaging with recent developments around this topic and including perspectives from sciences, arts, and humanities. It will be a welcome contribution to studies of the Anthropocene as well as studies of research methods and practices. —Sam Mickey, University of S. Francisco Educational institutions play an instrumental role in social and political change, and are responsible for the environmental and social ethics of their institutional practices. The essays in this volume critically examine scholarly research practices in the age of the Anthropocene, and ask what accountability educators and researchers have in ‘righting’ their relationship to the environment. The volume further calls attention to the geographical, financial, legal and political barriers that might limit scholarly dialogue by excluding researchers from participating in traditional modes of scholarly conversation. As such, Right Research is a bold invitation to the academic community to rigorous self-reflection on what their research looks like, how it is conducted, and how it might be developed so as to increase accessibility and sustainability, and decrease carbon footprint. The volume follows a three-part structure that bridges conceptual and practical concerns: the first section challenges our assumptions about how sustainability is defined, measured and practiced; the second section showcases artist-researchers whose work engages with the impact of humans on our environment; while the third section investigates how academic spaces can model eco-conscious behaviour. This timely volume responds to an increased demand for environmentally sustainable research, and is outstanding not only in its interdisciplinarity, but its embrace of non-traditional formats, spanning academic articles, creative acts, personal reflections and dialogues. Right Research will be a valuable resource for educators and researchers interested in developing and hybridizing their scholarly communication formats in the face of the current climate crisis.

Energy Humanities Current State and Future Directions

On petrocultures: Globalization, culture, and energy. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press. Szeman, I., & Boyer, D. (Eds.). (2017).Energy humanities: An anthology. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Energy Humanities  Current State and Future Directions

This edited book explicitly deals with the energy humanities, summarising existing knowledge in the area and outlining possible future directions for the nascent field. Assuming a variety of disciplinary stances and using a plethora of methodologies to address a number of pressing energy-related issues, the individual contributions showcase the crucial importance of including the humanities and social sciences into the current discussion on energy. Furthermore, they illustrate one of the central claims of the energy humanities, namely, that energy permeates all aspects of our contemporary modes of existence, and is inextricably linked with historical, political, social, ideological, and cultural issues, relationships, and practices. Through numerous case studies, Energy Humanities and Energy Transition looks to the past, present, and future in search of examples of best practices and possible models for pathways to a successful energy transition and life ‘after oilʼ. While much of existing research on energy humanities has been criticised for its excessive focus on oil, this book considers a wide range of energy resources, including nuclear energy, renewables, and natural gas. Furthermore, it brings to the forefront under-researched topics such as the colonial legacy inscribed in energy infrastructure and the energy history of the humanities. The contributions in this volume explore not only how the perspectives and expertise of the humanities and social sciences can alter the discourse on energy transition, and our way of thinking about possible solutions and future scenarios, but also how their new focus on energy affects the disciplines themselves. Energy Humanities and Energy Transition presents a variety of theories, methods, topics, and disciplinary angles, meaning it will be of interest to a wide audience, from practitioners and policy makers, to students and researchers working across the humanities and social sciences. The thematically oriented structure, distinct focus of each individual chapter, and the comprehensive introduction and conclusion that contextualize the contributions within the wider framework of energy transition, make this edited book accessible to readers from many different fields and suitable for various university programs.

Iridescent Kuwait

38 See, for instance, Andrew Pendakis, “Being and Oil: Or, How to Run a Pipeline through Heidegger,” in Wilson, Carlson, and Szeman, Petrocultures. 39 Sheena Wilson, Imre Szeman, and Adam Carlson, “On Petrocultures: Or, Why We Need to ...

Iridescent Kuwait

Die Erdöl-Moderne ist ein lokales Phänomen der Geschichte Kuwaits, aber auch ein globales Ereignis und massgebliche Ursache des Klimawandels. Die Studie untersucht die Rolle von Erdöl in der visuellen Kultur Kuwaits im Kontext von Ideologien wie Modernisierung und politischer Repräsentation. Der Begriff des Irisierenden, eines in Regenbogenfarben schillernden Farbenspiels, dient als analytisch-ästhetisches Konzept, um den umstrittenen Beitrag von Erdöl in der Moderne zu diskutieren: sowohl Wohlstandsversprechen wie auch destruktive Kraft in soziokultureller und ökologischer Hinsicht. Das Buch versammelt eine Fülle historischen Bildmaterials, darunter Luft- und Farbfotografien, Briefmarken, Stadtpläne und Architekturdarstellungen, um unter Berücksichtigung von zeitgenössischer Kunst aus der Golfregion das visuelle Erbe der Erdöl- Moderne kritisch zu hinterfragen.

Cold Water Oil

In Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, edited by Imre Szeman, Adam Carlson and Sheena Wilson, 287– 318. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press. Sinclair, Upton. 2008 [1926]. Oil! Harmondsworth: Penguin. Sutherland, John. 2004.

Cold Water Oil

Cold Water Oil: Offshore Petroleum Cultures is a collection of essays examining how societies conceive of fossil fuel extraction in the inhospitable but fragile waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. What happens offshore matters. Currently, over a quarter of the world’s oil and gas is produced from beneath the seas. The offshore petroleum industry is thus a crucial point of origin for global carbon emissions, and other environmental harms. Cold Water Oil: Offshore Petroleum Cultures illuminates ignored histories, influential contemporary narratives, and emerging energy and environmental futures. The volume centres on North Atlantic and Arctic regions; the continuing but often strongly contested pursuit of oil and gas in frigid, tumultuous, and environmentally sensitive seas enforces the lengths to which corporations and governments will go to maintain the centrality of fossil fuels. The book’s contributors focus on the cultural, social, and ecological implications of oil and gas extraction in the oceanic territories of Canada, Norway, the UK, Russia, the US, and the Iñupiat of Alaska at a time of profound global uncertainty. In conversation with the energy and environmental humanities, and critical ocean studies, Cold Water Oil considers a region central to debates about climate change and the planet’s future. Cold Water Oil engages students and researchers interested in climate change, energy humanities, critical ocean studies, and North Atlantic and Arctic issues.

Hydronarratives

Szeman and the Petrocultures Research Group, After Oil, 41. 72. Szeman and Boyer, “Introduction.” 73. See, e.g., Amitav Ghosh, “Petrofiction: The Oil Encounter and the Novel,” New Republic, March 2, 1992, 29–34; LeMenager, Living Oil; ...

Hydronarratives

Focusing on creative responses to intensifying water crises in the United States, Hydronarratives explores how narrative and storytelling support environmental justice advocacy in Black, Indigenous, and low-income communities.

Global Perspectives on Nationalism

On petrocultures: or, why we need to understand oil to understand everything else. In S. Wilson, A. Carlson, & I. Szeman (eds), Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture (pp. 3–19). McGill-Queen's University Press.

Global Perspectives on Nationalism

Global Perspectives on Nationalism takes an interdisciplinary approach informed by recent theorisations of nationalism to examine perennial questions on the topic. The idea of nationalism centres on questions of ethnicity, culture, religion, language, and access to resources. What determines consciousness of nationalism? How is nationalism manifested, shaped, or countered through literary and cultural productions? The contributors highlight topical areas in studies of nationalism including ecology, natural resources, sustainability, globalisation, the Anthropocene, postcolonialism, indigeneity, folklore, popular culture, and queer theory. They develop innovative perspectives on nationalism through in-depth analyses of the theoretical, political, literary, linguistic, cultural, and ecological dimensions of nationalism in Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Poland, Scotland, Turkey, the United States, and elsewhere. This volume underscores the importance of generative dialogue between disciplines in assessing the implications of nationalism for everyday life through five thematic sections: (I) Ethnicity, Ideology, and Narration; (II) Religion, Identity, and Heritage; (III) Linguistics, Tradition, and Modernism; (IV) Music, Lyricism, and Poetics; and (V) Ecology, Environment, and Non-Human Lives. This book will be of particular value to students and researchers in philosophy, literary studies, and political theory with interests spanning ecology, ethnicity, folklore, gender, heritage, identity, linguistics, nationalism, nationhood, religion, and sexuality.

The New William Faulkner Studies

Imre Szeman, On Petrocultures ... Petrocultures: Oil, Energy, and Culture (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017); and American Quarterly 72.3 (September 2020), a special issue on “Energy Pasts and Futures in American ...

The New William Faulkner Studies

This volume situates Faulkner within a range of current and emerging critical fields, such as African American studies, visual culture studies, world literatures, modernist studies, gender studies, and the energy humanities. The essays are written with the Faulkner expert and general reader in mind, and covers the full range of Faulkner's opus.

Climate Change Religion and Our Bodily Future

On Petrocultures: Or, Why We Need to Understand Oil to Understand Everything Else.” In Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, edited by Sheena Wilson, 3–19. McGill: Queen's University Press. Winkelman, Michael, and John Baker. 2010.

Climate Change  Religion  and Our Bodily Future

This book investigates how human-induced global warming will influence the bodily practice, performance, and production of religion in various geographic locations in the years and decades to come.

Handbook on Oil and International Relations

Petrocultures Research Group (2015), After oil, Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press. Rabinbach, A. (1992), The human motor: energy, fatigue, and the origins of modernity, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Handbook on Oil and International Relations

This Handbook provides an in-depth analysis of the multiple ways in which oil has shaped, changed and affected international relations and global politics. Theoretically innovative, it provides new insights into the interaction between the materiality of oil and its social, economic and political manifestations.

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Economics

Energy and Environment (Fordham, 2017), and Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture (McGill-Queen's, 2017). He is completing work on Energy Cultures (co-edited with Jeff Diamanti) and On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture, ...

The Routledge Companion to Literature and Economics

The study of literature and economics is by no means a new one, but since the financial crash of 2008, the field has grown considerably with a broad range of both fiction and criticism. The Routledge Companion to Literature and Economics is the first authoritative guide tying together the seemingly disparate areas of literature and economics. Drawing together 38 critics, the Companion offers both an introduction and a springboard to this sometimes complex but highly relevant field. With sections on "Critical traditions," "Histories," "Principles," and "Contemporary culture," the book looks at examples from Medieval and Renaissance literature through to poetry of the Great Depression and novels depicting the 2008 financial crisis. Covering topics from Austen to austerity, Marxism to modernism, the collated essays offer indispensable analysis of the relationship between literary studies and the economy. Representing a wide spectrum of approaches, this book introduces the basics of economics, while engaging with essential theory and debate. As the reality of economic hardship and disparity is widely acknowledged and spreads across disciplines, this Companion offers students and scholars a chance to enter this crucially important interdisciplinary area.

Decomposed

On Petrocultures: Or, Why We Need to Understand Oil to Understand Everything Else.” In Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, edited by Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson, and Imre Szeman, 3–19. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.

Decomposed

The hidden material histories of music. Music is seen as the most immaterial of the arts, and recorded music as a progress of dematerialization—an evolution from physical discs to invisible digits. In Decomposed, Kyle Devine offers another perspective. He shows that recorded music has always been a significant exploiter of both natural and human resources, and that its reliance on these resources is more problematic today than ever before. Devine uncovers the hidden history of recorded music—what recordings are made of and what happens to them when they are disposed of. Devine's story focuses on three forms of materiality. Before 1950, 78 rpm records were made of shellac, a bug-based resin. Between 1950 and 2000, formats such as LPs, cassettes, and CDs were all made of petroleum-based plastic. Today, recordings exist as data-based audio files. Devine describes the people who harvest and process these materials, from women and children in the Global South to scientists and industrialists in the Global North. He reminds us that vinyl records are oil products, and that the so-called vinyl revival is part of petrocapitalism. The supposed immateriality of music as data is belied by the energy required to power the internet and the devices required to access music online. We tend to think of the recordings we buy as finished products. Devine offers an essential backstory. He reveals how a range of apparently peripheral people and processes are actually central to what music is, how it works, and why it matters.

Wandering Women

Wilson, Sheena, Adam Carlson, and Imre Szeman. “Introduction: On Petrocultures: Or, Why We Need to Understand Oil to Understand Everything Else.” In Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, edited by Sheena Wilson, Bibliography ...

Wandering Women

Wandering Women: Urban Ecologies of Italian Feminist Filmmaking explores the work of contemporary Italian women directors from feminist and ecological perspectives. Mostly relegated to the margins of the cultural scene, and concerned with women's marginality, the compelling films Wandering Women sheds light on tell stories of displacement and liminality that unfold through the act of walking in the city. The unusual emptiness of the cities that the nomadic female protagonists traverse highlights the absence of, and their wish for, life-sustaining communities. Laura Di Bianco contends that women's urban filmmaking—while articulating a claim for belonging and asserting cinematic and social agency—brings into view landscapes of the Anthropocene, where urban decay and the erasure of nature intersect with human alienation. Though a minor cinema, it is also a powerful movement of resistance against the dominant male narratives about the world we inhabit. Based on interviews with directors, Wandering Women deepens the understanding of contemporary Italian cinema while enriching the field of feminist ecocritical literature.

Dark Scenes from Damaged Earth

... “On Petrocultures; or, Why We Need to Understand Oil to Understand Everything Else,” in Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, ed. Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson, and Imre Szeman (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017), 9.

Dark Scenes from Damaged Earth

An urgent volume of essays engages the Gothic to advance important perspectives on our geological era What can the Gothic teach us about our current geological era? More than just spooky, moonlit castles and morbid graveyards, the Gothic represents a vibrant, emergent perspective on the Anthropocene. In this volume, more than a dozen scholars move beyond longstanding perspectives on the Anthropocene—such as science fiction and apocalyptic narratives—to show that the Gothic offers a unique (and dark) interpretation of events like climate change, diminished ecosystems, and mass extinction. Embracing pop cultural phenomena like True Detective, Jaws, and Twin Peaks, as well as topics from the New Weird and prehistoric shark fiction to ruin porn and the “monstroscene,” Dark Scenes from Damaged Earth demonstrates the continuing vitality of the Gothic while opening important new paths of inquiry. These essays map a genealogy of the Gothic while providing fresh perspectives on the ongoing climate chaos, the North/South divide, issues of racialization, dark ecology, questions surrounding environmental justice, and much more. Contributors: Fred Botting, Kingston U; Timothy Clark, U of Durham; Rebecca Duncan, Linnaeus U; Michael Fuchs, U of Oldenburg, Germany; Esthie Hugo, U of Warwick; Dawn Keetley, Lehigh U; Laura R. Kremmel, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; Timothy Morton, Rice U; Barry Murnane, U of Oxford; Jennifer Schell, U of Alaska Fairbanks; Lisa M. Vetere, Monmouth U; Sara Wasson, Lancaster U; Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, Central Michigan U.

Resisting Dialogue

Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson, and Imre Szeman, “Introduction: On Petrocultures,” in Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture, ed. Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson, and Imre Szeman (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2017), 5. 59.

Resisting Dialogue

A bold new critique of dialogue as a method of eliminating dissent Is dialogue always the productive political and communicative tool it is widely conceived to be? Resisting Dialogue reassesses our assumptions about dialogue and, in so doing, about what a politically healthy society should look like. Juan Meneses argues that, far from an unalloyed good, dialogue often serves as a subtle tool of domination, perpetuating the underlying inequalities it is intended to address. Meneses investigates how “illusory dialogue” (a particular dialogic encounter designed to secure consensus) is employed as an instrument that forestalls—instead of fostering—articulations of dissent that lead to political change. He does so through close readings of novels from the English-speaking world written in the past hundred years—from E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India and Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion to Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People and more. Resisting Dialogue demonstrates how these novels are rhetorical exercises with real political clout capable of restoring the radical potential of dialogue in today’s globalized world. Expanding the boundaries of postpolitical theory, Meneses reveals how these works offer ways to practice disagreement against this regulatory use of dialogue and expose the pitfalls of certain other dialogic interventions in relation to some of the most prominent questions of modern history: cosmopolitanism at the end of empire, the dangers of rewriting the historical record, the affective dimension of neoliberalism, the racial and nationalist underpinnings of the “war on terror,” and the visibility of environmental violence in the Anthropocene. Ultimately, Resisting Dialogue is a complex, provocative critique that, melding political and literary theory, reveals how fiction can help confront the deployment of dialogue to preempt the emergence of dissent and, thus, revitalize the practice of emancipatory politics.