CFP CAA 2019 NYC, Contemporary Art and Petrocultures of the Middle East

Samine Tabatabaei's picture
Call for Papers
February 13, 2019
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Middle East History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies

CFP: CAA 2019 Conference, NYC

Contact Info: 

Contemporary Art and Petrocultures of the Middle East

Oil and energy have a pervasive influence on contemporary experience in the Middle East. In some petrocultures, local economies and socio-cultural life have been nourished by the oil boom, which has facilitated mobility and participation in global trade. In others, the negative derivatives of oil, such as Islamicist ideologies and radicalism, have prevailed. Ubiquitous environmental devastation in the region – the driving force of the Anthropocene – and the never-ending wars in the Middle East are consequences of the battle over energy infrastructures. At the same time, in the creative sphere, a major shift is occurring with the consolidation of translocal art museums and universities under the confluence of oil and energy. Despite oil’s significant role in the economy and socio-cultural life, involvement with art projects that harness a sense of intervention in petroculture or directly engage with the substance of oil itself has recently come under scrutiny. The axial theme of this panel is examining and extending narratives, poetics, metaphors, and imaginaries of oil and energy comprising a confluence of orientalism, colonialism, postcolonialism, war, migration, precarious labor, mobility, materiality, plasticity, representation, preservation, climate change, cultural sabotage, criticism of petrocapitalism, and art and the Anthropocene. Drawing from critical theories around oil and energy, this panel invites participants to consider the role of oil and energy in shaping contemporary art’s social, cultural and political life in the Middle East.


Please send 250-word abstracts and CV to Samine Tabatabaei to petroconference2019 (at) gmail (dot) com by August 5th, 2018.