Skip to main content
Research project

Cultures, Ecologies and Economies of Oil: A Critical Exploration of the Lived Contradictions and Representations of Oil across Nations, Sectors, and Disciplines

Project overview

This is a pioneering project in the emerging field of Oil Literatures and Cultures. Few studies in this field have focused on the Middle East and, above all, on Iran, Iraq, and Saudi-Arabia.

The primary aim is the investigation of the systemic nature and global dynamics of the tensions and contradictions informing the relation between energy politics (oil), bio-politics (organ-selling), environmental, and social-cultural, and economic informing the life of Middle-Eastern as well as Anglo-American people and also the relation between the former people/nations and (neo)colonial and global powers revolving around the question of oil.

The crux of this project is an investigation of how oil can be known and represented and how oil is lived and experienced by a people of an oil-possessing country. These epistemic and phenomenological questions demand the consideration of oil as a cultural agent and a social signifier.

Literary and cultural texts, productions and events (museum exhibitions, theatrical performances, installations, etc.) offer us a key socio-cultural and cognitive-imaginative space for tackling the contradictions of oil-owning by the Middle-Eastern and Anglo-American people.

One of the chief aims of the project is to build a network of partners with museums, galleries, and arts organisations in the UK and internationally that work on various facets of oil or in close association with oil industry.


Lead researcher

Dr Alireza Fakhrkonandeh

Connect with Alireza

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs