MISC 2014 Annual Conference: "Petrocultures 2014: Oil, Energy, and Canada's Future"
The MISC will hold its annual national conference on February 6 and 7, 2014, in Montreal. The theme of the 2014 conference is Petrocultures: Oil, Energy, and Canada’s Future, examining the ways in which oil and the oil industry touch and affect our lives. For more information, visit www.mcgill.ca/misc/conferences
For the full programme, click HERE
PETROCULTRES will bring together leading figures to discuss and debate the role of oil and energy in shaping social, cultural and political life in Canada at present and in the future. This unique conference is organized in partnership with the University of Alberta, and will be a genuinely national event involving representatives of all of Canada’s regions.
One of the key developments shaping social and political debate in Canada in the twenty-first century has been the country’s emergence as an energy superpower. The confluence of new technologies and price per barrel has made it profitable to excavate the oil sands, while a process known as ‘fracking’ has opened up access to new, large reservoirs of shale gas. With oil and gas come money—and power. The spheres and sites of political and economic authority and influence in Canada are undergoing a major shift whose end result will be a transformed national identity. Once seen as a curse, the idea that Canadians are back to being`, (in Harold Innis’ memorable phrase) "hewers of wood and drawers of water", is now seen as a blessing allowing us to weather recent economic storms and promising to help keep the country strong in changing and uncertain times.
The significance of oil and gas extends well beyond economics and politics, and this event will address Canada’s petroculture across a range of sectors. Labour is being transformed in the country as people commute thousands of miles by plane to work in the energy industry. The desire of foreign companies to enter into the energy sector may challenge Canada’s commitment to free trade. The costs and consequences of automobility have made many Canadians re-evaluate the shape and structure of their cities. Controversies over cross-border pipelines have led to bigger questions about the degree to which the country’s energy resources might be used for public benefit as opposed to private profit. Finally, as citizens become more aware of our reliance on petrocarbons and the impact of petrocultures on the environment, all of us must grapple with what these issues mean for how we live today and how we might live in the future.
Confirmed Participants Include:
- Trish Audette, journalist and activist
- Janelle Baker, Instructor, Athabasca University, doctoral researcher, Vanier Fellow, Warren Fellow at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, consultant, First Nations traditional land use
- Darin Barney, Canada Research Chair in Technology and Citizenship, Department of Art History and Communications, McGill University
- Ruth Beer, Professor of Visual Art and Material Practice, Emily Carr University of Art and Design
- Tzeporah Berman, former Greenpeace Co-Director, Executive Director and Co-founder of PowerUp Canada and Co-founder and Campaign Director of ForestEthics
- Warren Cariou, writer, Professor, documentary filmmaker and Director of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at the University of Manitoba
- Ken Chapman, Former Chair, Oilsands Developers Group, Executive Director, Northern Initiatives
- Satya Das, author (Green Oil), commentator on all platforms of the national and local news media in Canada and a human rights expert
- Eriel Deranger, Executive Assistant & Communication Coordinator, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
- David Dufresne, filmmaker (Fort McMoney)
- Jennifer Gabrys, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths University of London, Director, "Citizen Sensing and Environmental Practice" project
- Steven Guilbeault, co-founder, Équiterre
- Liz Hannah, Vice-President, Communications, Cenovus Energy
- Olivia Heaney, McGill Department of English PhD. student, scholar of oil-related theatre
- Annette Hester, (Honourary Conference Co-Chair) senior associate with the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at CSIS and an economist, writer, and independent scholar
- Brett House, senior fellow, The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, lecturer, McGill University Department of Economics, Chazen Visiting Scholar, Columbia Business School.
- Tim Hus, Canadiana cowboy country musician.
- Mary Janigan, journalist, author (Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark, 2013 J.W. Dafoe Book Prize winner)
- Christine Leclerc, founder and curator of the Enpipeline Project.
- Stephanie LeMenager, Barbara and Carlisle Moore Distinguished Professor in English and American Literature at the University of Oregon, author (to be published) Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century.
- Ezra Levant, Sun News commentator, author (Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands)
- Philip Lewis, English-language Game-master, Fort McMoney
- Brenda Longfellow, award-winning filmmaker, Communication and Culture Graduate Program, York University
- Désirée McGraw, (Honourary Conference Co-Chair) President, Sauvé Foundation, environmental policy expert
- Matthew Mendelsohn, Director, Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation, University of Toronto
- Lynn Miller, founder, Le Nichoir Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre
- Philip D. Moeller, Comissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C.
- Martin Patriquin, journalist, Macleans
- Chris Ragan, Associate Professor, Macroeconomics and Economic Policy, McGill Department of Economics, David Dodge Chair in Monetary Policy, C.D.Howe Institute, Toronto
- Imre Szeman, Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies and Professor of English, Film Studies and Sociology, University of Alberta
- Scott Vaughan, President and CEO, International Institute for Sustainable Development
- Sheena Wilson, Assistant Professor at University of Alberat's Campus Saint-Jean and Director of the Bilingual Writing Centre