CENFAD Lecture Series: Dr. Robert "Bob" Vitalis, "Oilcraft: The Myths of Scarcity and Security That Haunt U.S. Energy Policy"

Casey VanSise Discussion

The Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy (CENFAD) at Temple University is proud to present a lecture and question-and-answer session with Robert "Bob" Vitalis, Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Vitalis earned a B.A. in Political Science from SUNY at Stony Brook, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from the the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is the former director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and the author of four books: When Capitalists Collide: Business Conflict and the End of Empire in Egypt (University of California Press, 1995 and republished in 2020); America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier (Stanford University Press, 2006), named Book of the Year by The Guardian (London); the award-winning White World Order, Black Power Politics (Cornell University Press, 2016); and, most recently, Oilcraft: The Myths of Scarcity and Security that Haunt U.S. Energy Policy (Stanford University Press, 2020), which is the subject of his CENFAD lecture.

In the lecture, Vitalis aspires to offer a bracing corrective to myths that have shaped economic, military, and diplomatic policy: that the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf is what guarantees access to this strategic resource; that the "special" relationship with Saudi Arabia is necessary to stabilize an otherwise volatile market; and that these assumptions in turn provide Washington enormous leverage over Europe and Asia. In this way, he aims to dispel our oil-soaked fantasies of dependence.

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 8 | 4:30-5:30 PM EST
Gladfelter 914 (Weigley Room)

Zoom (free registration required):