Stacey Balkan, Department of English, Will Publish Two Books This Term
Thursday, Sep 02, 2021
Stacey Balkan, Assistant Professor of Environmental Literature and Humanities in the Department of English, will publish
two books this term. Oil Fictions: World Literature and our Contemporary Petrosphere will be released in October as part of the AnthropoScene Series by Pennsylvania State University Press (https://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-09158-7. html) and Rogues in the Postcolony: Narrating Extraction and Itinerancy in India will be available in January 2022 through the Histories of Capitalism and the Environment Series, West Virginia University Press.
“I work within a relatively new field of study titled Energy Humanities. This is a subfield within the Environmental Humanities that emphasizes the centrality of energy forms (e.g., wind, solar, or petrol) to cultural production. That is, we seek to understand the ways in which works of art and literature manufacture, respond to, and reinforce cultural norms associated with various energy regimes.”
“In addition to scrutinizing such cultural works, the Energy Humanities (as a field) is distinguished by a focus not only on the ‘problem’ of environmental/energy crisis; we also endeavor to imagine solutions that don’t merely reproduce conventional forms of social and political injustice — the displacement of Indigenous communities in the interest of mining silicon (used in photovoltaic solar panels), for example, or the persistent marginalization of poor communities due to the off-siting of energy waste. Thus, my teaching and research often incorporate speculative fiction in order to imagine possibilities beyond the limited scope of our increasingly dystopian present.”
“Oil Fictions: World Literature and our Contemporary Petrosphere, an essay collection that explores petrocultural productions from several nations across the Global South, represents such critical and imaginative work. Similarly, Rogues in the Postcolony: Narrating Extraction and Itinerancy in India, which brings together extant discussions around settler-colonial practices in India with broader questions attendant to settler ideology and environmental injustice, concludes with an investigation of new extractivist frontiers (including solar capitalism) and the possibility of imagining life after extraction on the subcontinent and beyond.”
Balkan serves as an affiliate faculty member for FAU’s Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Initiative. Her recent work appears in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, The Global South, Global South Studies, Mediations, Revue Études Anglaise, Energy Humanities, and Social Text Online. Stacey is also a frequent contributor to Public Books and believes strongly in the role of the public intellectual as a scholar-activist.