HPI138 | Autumn | 6 ECTS

The Fuel of Globalisation: Transnational Histories of the Petroleum Century

This course analyzes how petroleum fueled the dynamics of globalization in the 20th century. Long time an instrument that helped maintain colonial rule and build US imperialism, oil became a central stake in both hot and cold wars, and finally a factor of geopolitical change toward a multipolar world. As an accelerator of productivity, this energy resource was also at the basis of technological and cultural revolutions that accompanied the intensification of global exchanges, creating opportunities for mobility, workers' emancipation and mass consumption, while at the same time it drove market monopoly, conflicts, pollution, and new forms of material dependency. Multidimensional in its scope and methods, this course offers insights from cultural studies, STS and various social sciences to cover economic, political, environmental and sociocultural aspects of the petroleum century.