2 Jun 2010 5:00pm - 7:00pm CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge


Anindita Banerjee (Cornell University, NY)
Petro-Trauma: Coloniality, Globality, and the Dystopia of Russian Oil
Ivan Kurilla (Volgograd State University, Russia)
Constructing “Official” Memory in Russia 

Anindita Banerjee. While the politics of energy dominates the public discourse of our time, little attention has been directed towards its relationship with cultural production and consumption. The presentation addresses this issue in a context whose national and global significance at the moment is wholly defined by oil. In teasing out an aesthetic of the Russian oil encounter, I aim to explore two larger questions: how technologies and networks of energy generate new economies of culture, and how cultural forms negotiate the dual connotation of material and symbolic power that animates the discourse of oil. These questions are particularly provocative in the case of petroleum because of the completely deterritorialized nature of its production and consumption – which, in turn, makes it impossible to situate the aesthetic of oil within conventional paradigms of spatial history and national identity. How, then, might one represent and theorize a uniquely Russian “petroscape”?

Anindita Banerjee.  I  work on literature and film of Russia, Eurasia, and South Asia. My research is concerned with the formation and iteration of national, religious, ethno-racial and linguistic identities as mediated by science and technology on the one hand and the mobility of people, narratives, ideas, and images on the other. I have published, among other topics, on electricity, the Trans-Siberian Railroad, relations of new media to literature, and migration across trans-Asiatic spaces in various periods.

Part of the East European Memory Studies Research Group seminar series.

Open all. No registration required.

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