1st Edition

Oil and Modern World Dramas From Petro-Mania to Petro-Melancholia

By Alireza Fakhrkonandeh Copyright 2023
    412 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The first to focus on the (re-)presentations of oil in dramatic literature, theatre, and performance, Oil and Modern World Dramas is a pioneering volume in the emerging field of Oil Literatures and Cultures, and the more established field of World Literatures. Through close analysis, Fakhrkonandeh demonstrates how these dramatic works depict oil, both in its perceived nature and character, as an overdetermined matter/sign/object: a symbol (of freedom, autonomy, speed, wealth, modernity, enlightenment), a commodity, a social-cultural agent, a social relation, and a hyper-object. This book is also distinguished by its innovative and critically manifold conceptual framework, positing the petro-literatures and petro-cultures an inextricable part of a global network. Oil and Modern World Dramas not only demonstrates how the chosen works of petro-drama manifest these concepts in their social-political vision, aesthetics and historical-ontological dynamics, but also reveals how they deploy such assemblage-based approaches both as a cartographical means and aesthetic method for exposing the systemic (Capitalocenic) nature of petro-capitalist exploitation, and as means of proposing ways of resistance and producing alternative modes of subjectivity, community, relationality, and economy.




    Modern And Contemporary Oil Dramas and Cultures

    Chapter One

    Oil, the Crisis of Representation, and the Dramatic Form

    Chapter Two

    Conjonctural Cycles of Capitalist Oil Extraction in Western Peripheries: Leo Lania’s Konjunktur 1 (1928)

    Chapter Three

    "on a wave of oil England swam towards victory […] our weapon of choice was oil": Oil Monopoly, Petro-Dramaturgical Aesthetics and Capitalocene in Leo Lania’s Konjunktur 2

    Chapter Four

    "Oil Is an Idea": From Production to Anti-Production in Leo Lania’s Oil Field (1934)

    Chapter Five

    "It’s not easy to make oil and love run in harness together": "Petroleum Odes," "Oil Odour," and "Odious Coolies" in Lion Feuchtwanger’s Oil Islands

    Works Cited



    Alireza Fakhrkonandeh is Assistant Professor in Modern and Contemporary Drama and Literary Theory at the University of Southampton, UK. He has recently finished two books, titled Body and Event in Howard Barker’s Theatre of Catastrophe (2019) and Evental Ontology, Immanent Ethics and Affective Aesthetics in Howard Barker’s Drama (under review). He completed his PhD at Warwick University (2015; funded by WU). Fakhrkonandeh holds degrees in English Literature and Literary Theory (PhD), Continental Philosophy (MA), and Medical Humanities (PhD). His works have featured in various journals and books, including Symploke, Textual Practice, Comparative Drama, English Studies, JCDE, ANQ, The Edinburgh History of Reading (2020), and The Somaesthetics of City Life (2019). He is also a professional academic translator. He is the sole authorized translator of Howard Barker’s works into Persian.