Subterranean Estates: Life Worlds of Oil and Gas

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9780801479861: Subterranean Estates: Life Worlds of Oil and Gas

"Oil is a fairy tale, and, like every fairy tale, is a bit of a lie."―Ryzard Kapuscinski, Shah of Shahs

The scale and reach of the global oil and gas industry, valued at several trillions of dollars, is almost impossible to grasp. Despite its vast technical expertise and scientific sophistication, the industry betrays a startling degree of inexactitude and empirical disagreement about foundational questions of quantity, output, and price. As an industry typified by concentrated economic and political power, its operations are obscured by secrecy and security. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that the social sciences typically approach oil as a metonym―of modernity, money, geopolitics, violence, corruption, curse, ur-commodity―rather than considering the daily life of the industry itself and of the hydrocarbons around which it is built.

Instead, Subterranean Estates gathers an interdisciplinary group of scholars and experts to provide a critical topography of the hydrocarbon industry, understood not solely as an assemblage of corporate forms but rather as an expansive and porous network of laborers and technologies, representation and expertise, and the ways of life oil and gas produce at points of extraction, production, marketing, consumption, and combustion. By accounting for oil as empirical and experiential, the contributors begin to demystify a commodity too often given almost demiurgic power.

Subterranean Estates shifts critical attention away from an exclusive focus on global oil firms toward often overlooked aspects of the industry, including insurance, finance, law, and the role of consultants and community organizations. Based on ethnographic research from around the world (Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Oman, the United States, Ecuador, Chad, the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Canada, Iran, and Russia), and featuring a photoessay on the lived experiences of those who inhabit a universe populated by oil rigs, pipelines, and gas flares, this innovative volume provides a new perspective on the material, symbolic, cultural, and social meanings of this multidimensional world.

Contributors: Hannah Appel, University of California, Los Angeles; Andrew Barry, University College London; Mona Damluji, Wheaton College; Elizabeth Gelber, Columbia University; Jane I. Guyer, The Johns Hopkins University; Peter Hitchcock, City University of New York; Matt Huber, Syracuse University; Leigh Johnson, University of Zurich; Ed Kashi; Hannah Knox, University of Manchester; Mandana E. Limbert, Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Arthur Mason, University of California, Berkeley; Douglas Rogers, Yale University; Suzana Sawyer, University of California, Davis; Rebecca Golden, Women's Institute of Houston; Michael J. Watts, University of California, Berkeley; Sara Wylie, Northeastern University; Saulesh Yessenova, University of Calgary; Anna Zalik, York University

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About the Author:

Hannah Appel is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles.



Arthur Mason is visiting faculty at Rice University and University of Tromsø.



Michael Watts is Class of 1963 Professor of Geography and Development Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is coeditor of Violent Environments, also from Cornell, author most recently of Curse of the Black Gold, and coauthor of Afflicted Powers.

Review:

"Juxtaposed between the 'intellectual vertigo'induced by this massive industry and 'oil's cynosural politics',the authors seek to clear away some of the 'epistemic murk'that pervades the worlds of oil and gas (p.9). . . .Readers will note a meticulous focus on revealing, demystifying or engaging anew those features of the substance and the industry that have remained mostly out of the purview of examination. . .The renewed engagement with oil materialities reveals important aspects of the everyday life of a resource and an industry that is as convoluted as it is complicated, powerful, destructive, ubiquitous and ambiguous."―Amber Murrey, Antipode (March 2016)



"With essays from senior and emerging scholars alike, this is an 'oil book' like no other. Writing from different regions of the world, addressing hidden corners of the industry, and describing the knowledge that is deployed to make oil extractable, profitable, and contestable, the contributors help the reader get a handle on the symbolic, political, material, and social complexity of the oil assemblage. In the process, they make a global phenomenon that is as opaque as it is immense a bit more intelligible."―Anthony Bebbington, Higgins Professor of Environment and Society, Clark University, and Professorial Research Fellow, University of Manchester

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Editorial: Cornell University Press, United States (2015)
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Descripción Cornell University Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Oil is a fairy tale, and, like every fairy tale, is a bit of a lie. --Ryzard Kapuscinski, Shah of Shahs The scale and reach of the global oil and gas industry, valued at several trillions of dollars, is almost impossible to grasp. Despite its vast technical expertise and scientific sophistication, the industry betrays a startling degree of inexactitude and empirical disagreement about foundational questions of quantity, output, and price. As an industry typified by concentrated economic and political power, its operations are obscured by secrecy and security. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that the social sciences typically approach oil as a metonym--of modernity, money, geopolitics, violence, corruption, curse, ur-commodity--rather than considering the daily life of the industry itself and of the hydrocarbons around which it is built. Instead, Subterranean Estates gathers an interdisciplinary group of scholars and experts to provide a critical topography of the hydrocarbon industry, understood not solely as an assemblage of corporate forms but rather as an expansive and porous network of laborers and technologies, representation and expertise, and the ways of life oil and gas produce at points of extraction, production, marketing, consumption, and combustion. By accounting for oil as empirical and experiential, the contributors begin to demystify a commodity too often given almost demiurgic power. Subterranean Estates shifts critical attention away from an exclusive focus on global oil firms toward often overlooked aspects of the industry, including insurance, finance, law, and the role of consultants and community organizations. Based on ethnographic research from around the world (Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Oman, the United States, Ecuador, Chad, the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Canada, Iran, and Russia), and featuring a photoessay on the lived experiences of those who inhabit a universe populated by oil rigs, pipelines, and gas flares, this innovative volume provides a new perspective on the material, symbolic, cultural, and social meanings of this multidimensional world. Contributors: Hannah Appel, University of California, Los Angeles; Andrew Barry, University College London; Mona Damluji, Wheaton College; Elizabeth Gelber, Columbia University; Jane I. Guyer, The Johns Hopkins University; Peter Hitchcock, City University of New York; Matt Huber, Syracuse University; Leigh Johnson, University of Zurich; Ed Kashi; Hannah Knox, University of Manchester; Mandana E. Limbert, Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Arthur Mason, University of California, Berkeley; Douglas Rogers, Yale University; Suzana Sawyer, University of California, Davis; Rebecca Golden, Women s Institute of Houston; Michael J. Watts, University of California, Berkeley; Sara Wylie, Northeastern University; Saulesh Yessenova, University of Calgary; Anna Zalik, York University. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780801479861

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Descripción Cornell University Press, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Oil is a fairy tale, and, like every fairy tale, is a bit of a lie. --Ryzard Kapuscinski, Shah of Shahs The scale and reach of the global oil and gas industry, valued at several trillions of dollars, is almost impossible to grasp. Despite its vast technical expertise and scientific sophistication, the industry betrays a startling degree of inexactitude and empirical disagreement about foundational questions of quantity, output, and price. As an industry typified by concentrated economic and political power, its operations are obscured by secrecy and security. Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that the social sciences typically approach oil as a metonym--of modernity, money, geopolitics, violence, corruption, curse, ur-commodity--rather than considering the daily life of the industry itself and of the hydrocarbons around which it is built. Instead, Subterranean Estates gathers an interdisciplinary group of scholars and experts to provide a critical topography of the hydrocarbon industry, understood not solely as an assemblage of corporate forms but rather as an expansive and porous network of laborers and technologies, representation and expertise, and the ways of life oil and gas produce at points of extraction, production, marketing, consumption, and combustion. By accounting for oil as empirical and experiential, the contributors begin to demystify a commodity too often given almost demiurgic power. Subterranean Estates shifts critical attention away from an exclusive focus on global oil firms toward often overlooked aspects of the industry, including insurance, finance, law, and the role of consultants and community organizations. Based on ethnographic research from around the world (Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Oman, the United States, Ecuador, Chad, the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Canada, Iran, and Russia), and featuring a photoessay on the lived experiences of those who inhabit a universe populated by oil rigs, pipelines, and gas flares, this innovative volume provides a new perspective on the material, symbolic, cultural, and social meanings of this multidimensional world. Contributors: Hannah Appel, University of California, Los Angeles; Andrew Barry, University College London; Mona Damluji, Wheaton College; Elizabeth Gelber, Columbia University; Jane I. Guyer, The Johns Hopkins University; Peter Hitchcock, City University of New York; Matt Huber, Syracuse University; Leigh Johnson, University of Zurich; Ed Kashi; Hannah Knox, University of Manchester; Mandana E. Limbert, Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York; Arthur Mason, University of California, Berkeley; Douglas Rogers, Yale University; Suzana Sawyer, University of California, Davis; Rebecca Golden, Women s Institute of Houston; Michael J. Watts, University of California, Berkeley; Sara Wylie, Northeastern University; Saulesh Yessenova, University of Calgary; Anna Zalik, York University. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780801479861

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Hannah Appel (editor), Arthur Mason (editor), Michael Watts (editor)
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