Cornell University

Anindita Banerjee, "Petromodernity: Post-Soviet Fiction and the Biopolitics of Oil"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 4:45pm to 6:15pm

Toboggan Lodge
101 Forest Home Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

The Institute for Comparative Modernities is pleased to announce the following New Conversations Series talk, which is free and open to the public.

The geopolitical significance of contemporary Russia, which rests wholly on oil and natural gas production, has been the subject of much economic and political analysis in recent years. Yet the curiously spectral but ubiquitous presence of petroleum in the post-Soviet body politic, which in turn produces a uniquely post-Soviet poetics of being, thinking, and acting in the globalized modern world, remains unexplored. Through the representational strategies and institutional particularities of post-Soviet fiction, the talk attempts to theorize a bio-political ecology of cultural production and consumption that is completely mediated by oil.

Anindita Banerjee is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, faculty affiliate in the South Asia Program and Visual Studies, and a fellow of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. She is particularly interested in how the techno-political imagination intersects with its literary and visual counterparts, and how these intersections negotiate trans-local practices and global understandings of modernity. The subject is explored at length in her recent book, We Modern People: Science Fiction and the Making of Modernity in Russia, published by Wesleyan University Press. Petromodernity is part of a new book project on energy, power, and culture.