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Resource Fictions: Oil, Water and Conflict in the World-System (EAS3194)

30 credits

Resource wars over dwindling supplies of oil and water are the next greatest threat to the future of capitalist civilisation. Examining contemporary hydro- and petro-fictions from across the world (e.g. Nigeria, Finland, China, Ireland, America), this module will offer you an opportunity to consider theories of world literature, postcolonial ecocriticism and world-ecology through a comparative analysis of global resource imaginaries. We will engage with different cultural forms (novels, documentary film, poetry) and genres (realism, modernism, science fiction, YA dystopias) to investigate the cultural representation of global resource crises and conflict. Focusing on issues such as the mismanagement of resources, production of scarcity, climate change, marginal communities, privatisation, the Anthropocene, gender and mal-development, we will consider how these texts provide optics into the study of water and oil, not just as resources to be extracted, but as producing a modern sensibility of abundance and scarcity.