Past Event

Chelsea Schields - Petro-Sexuality: Histories of Oil and Intimacy

April 7, 2022
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
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Fayerweather Hall (Room 411), Columbia University, 1180 Amsterdam Avenue, New York

Event Description

In recent years, energy humanities scholars have highlighted how the ability to do biopolitical work – to discipline the body and regulate populations – has relied on the availability of fossil fuels. The Caribbean has played a vital if also understudied role in the hydrocarbon age, transforming intimate selves and sensibilities in the process. This talk explores the interconnections among the histories of sexuality and the age of oil. Focusing on Aruba and Curaçao, islands that once housed the world’s largest oil refineries, it charts how transnational oil companies introduced peculiar forms of sexual and reproductive regulation intended to maximize oil revenues and discipline Caribbean subjects. Building on extensive archival research in the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States, Chelsea Schields insists that global energy systems cannot be understood without attention to the sexual and racialized interventions that fueled their emergence.

Event Speaker

Chelsea Schields, Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine

Event Information

Free and open to the public; no registration required. For more information, please visit the event webpage or email [email protected]

Hosted by the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University.