1st Edition

The Rhetoric of Oil in the Twenty-First Century Government, Corporate, and Activist Discourses

Edited By Heather Graves, David Edward Beard Copyright 2019
    320 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    318 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines mass communication and civic participation in the age of oil, analyzing the rhetorical and discursive ways that governments and corporations shape public opinion and public policy and activists attempt to reframe public debates to resist corporate framing.

    In the twenty-first century, oil has become a subject of civic deliberation. Environmental concerns have intensified, questions of indigenous rights have arisen, and private and public investment in energy companies has become open to deliberation. International contributors use local events as a starting point to explore larger issues associated with oil-dependent societies and cultures. This interdisciplinary collection synthesizes work in the energy humanities, rhetorical studies and environmental studies to analyze the global discourse of oil from the start of the twentieth century into the era of transnational corporations of the 21st century.

    This book will be a vital text for scholars in communication studies, the energy humanities and in environmental studies. Case studies are framed accessibly, and the theoretical lenses are accessible across disciplines, making it ideal for a post-graduate and advanced undergraduate audience in these fields.

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Rhetoric in the Age of Oil: Energy Humanities and the Discourses of the Petrochemical Industry. Heather Graves and David Beard.

    Section One: Euro-American Case Studies

    Chapter 2. King Coal versus Prince Petroleo: Imagining Oil, Energy and Transition in Early Twentieth-Century Britain. Ian Wereley.

    Chapter 3. Crude Thinking. Gretchen Bakke.

    Chapter 4. Rhetorics of Toxicity, Racism, and Religion on the Gulf Coast: Oil and Environmental Justice in the BP Spill Documentary Films. Juliette Lapeyrouse-Cherry.

    Chapter 5. When Water Meets Oil: Rupturing Rhetoric and Reality in Energy Policy and Climate Science. Josh Wodak.

    Chapter 6. The Flaming Faucet as Fracking’s Ideographic Synecdoche: Tracking its Emergence in the Rhetorics of Gasland and the U.S. Natural Gas Industry. Ross Singer.

    Section Two: Case Studies in the Global South

    Chapter 7. The Birth of a Myth: The Latin American Modern Oil Nation. Manuel Silva-Ferrer.

    Chapter 8. Untangling the Myth of "Culture as Renewable Oil": A Barthesian Exploration of PDVSA La Estancia’s Visual Campaign Transformamos el petróleo en un recurso removable para ti. Penélope Plaza.

    Chapter 9. Against All Odds: Oil Culture and the Commodity Consensus in Argentina’s Patagonia. Natalia Barrionuevo and Stefan Peters.

    Section Three: A Closer Look at the Oil Sands in Alberta

    Chapter 10. Still Ethical Oil: Framing the Alberta Oil Sands. Roberta Laurie.

    Chapter 11. From Pipeline to Plate: The Domestication of Oil Sands Through Visual Food Analogies. Adam Thomlison.

    Chapter 12. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Alberta Oil Sands (But were Afraid to Ask Jacques Lacan). T. R. Kover.

    Chapter 13. "Know-Nothing Foreign Celebrity Millionaires": Celebrity, Authenticity, and the Sabotage of Civil Discourse in the Controversy of the Alberta Oil Sands. John Moffatt, Corey Owen, Debora Rolfes, and Jeanie Wills.

    Chapter 14. From Persuasion to Manipulation: Tracing Oil Sands Narratives in the Calgary Herald. Sibo Chen.

    Chapter 15. How Not to Stop a Pipeline: A Critique of Activism in the Burnaby Mountain Protests. Sean Zwagerman.


    Heather Graves is Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada

    David Edward Beard is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth, USA