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Research Project

Fossil Capitalism in the Global South

2022 – 2023
Oil slicks from leaks in the various oil production and storage platforms located on Lake Maracaibo, in Venezuela, June 11, 2003. Courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.

Oil slicks from leaks in the various oil production and storage platforms located on Lake Maracaibo, in Venezuela, June 11, 2003. Courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.

Key Question

Project Summary

This project will offer fresh analysis of the dynamics of “fossil capital” by shifting the frame away from large industrial economies and toward the economic trajectories and energy systems of postcolonial societies in the Global South. Scholars from the University and Visiting Fellows from around the world – historians and anthropologists as well as literary critics and philosophers – will collaborate to offer new frameworks of interpretation.

Research Team

Elizabeth Chatterjee

Elizabeth Chatterjee

Assistant Professor of Environmental History and the College

University of Chicago

Elizabeth Chatterjee is a historian of energy and the environment, with a focus on India from 1900 to the present. Her research explores how non-Western energy histories disrupt conventional understandings of capitalist development, the social dynamics of climate change, and green political...

Ryan Cecil Jobson

Ryan Cecil Jobson

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Anthropology

University of Chicago

Ryan Cecil Jobson is an anthropologist and social critic of the Caribbean and the Americas. His research and teaching engage issues of energy and extractivism, states and sovereignty, climate and crisis, race and capital. His first book manuscript, The Petro-State Masquerade, is a...

Victoria Saramago

Victoria Saramago

Victoria Saramago

Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures

University of Chicago

Victoria Saramago's research interests include twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latin American literatures and cultures with a focus on the environmental humanities, the energy humanities, the Great Acceleration and the Anthropocene, fiction theory, mimesis, and interdisciplinary approaches...

Project Narrative

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The Economy and Its Boundaries
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