Call for Publications - Oil and Energy Resources in Contemporary History
The Italian scholarly journal "900: per una storia del tempo presente," will be devoting its next issue to the question of "Oil and Energy Resources in Contemporary History." The Editorial Board invites whoever might be interested in this topic to send a 500 word abstract and a short (max two page) CV to the editors of the issue, Elisabetta Bini (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Simone Selva (email@example.com) by February 15, 2009. Successful applicants will be expected to email their articles by July 31, 2009.
This issue of 900 aims at analyzing the importance that energy resources, and oil in particular, have had during the 20th century. Recent debates about the “end of oil” and the insustainability of a model of economic growth centered around it, and about the role of oil and natural gas in defining contemporary international relations, raise a series of questions on the importance of the present moment as a historical watershed and its relationship to the past. In this issue, we wish to examine the role that oil – in relation to other energy resources, such as coal – has had in shaping contemporary political regimes and economies, as well as labor relations and international relations.
The international and transnational dimension is particularly central to any discussion of oil, and forces us to rethink a series of key moments in the history of the 20th century, such as the Second World War, the Cold War and the 1970s. This issue seeks to analyze the ways in which the substitution of oil for coal transformed international relations, relations among European empires and between single empires and their colonies, as well as the process of decolonization and the emergence of the United States as a world power. Furthermore, it aims at understanding how oil affected the process of state and nation-building in oil-producing countries, and the establishment of consumer democracies in post-World War II Western Europe and the United States.
Recent scholarly work has devoted an increased attention to the working conditions tied to the extraction, refining and distribution of oil. Compared to the scholarship about coal miners, however, studies about oil workers are still few. This issue seeks to examine the forms of control and violence (on the part of both firms and states) that have characterized the “age of oil,” both in oil-producing and in oil-consuming countries. Moreover, it wishes to reconstruct the forms of labor organization and collective mobilization that have emerged in oil fields, refineries and oil companies.
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