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Petro-Ambiguity: Oil, Environment and National Identity in the Bruneian Imaginary


Petro-Ambiguity: Oil, Environment and National Identity in the Bruneian Imaginary will uncover diverse new narratives of the Anthropocene beyond the Global North. In close collaboration with my supervisor, Prof. Sissel Furuseth, head of the Critical Petroaesthetics research group (CP) into which I will be integrated, I will investigate the stories of oil in Brunei, whose oil-based economy has allowed for the preservation of its rainforest and a generous citizen welfare system. Its story is distinct to those that currently dominate the energy humanities, characterized by economic instability, environmental injustice and political violence. Through vital training and interactions with my supervisor and CP researchers, I will develop a synthesized approach informed by material ecocriticism, scale reading and intersectionality to analyse contemporary cultural forms in the Bruneian petroculture. I will introduce petro-ambiguity as a ground-breaking concept that resists universalizing oil encounters by articulating the intra-actions between individual, socio-cultural, national and global perceptions of oil. By moving beyond the Global North, this project addresses inequities within local and global energy-climate discourses, an urgent and crucial undertaking for a just energy transition for all. This project will engage in high-impact dissemination activities to enhance understanding of sociocultural factors behind climate (in)action. Petro-Ambiguity will be bolstered by feedback from renowned energy-climate experts on my advisory board, Prof. Stephanie LeMenager (University of Oregon), Prof. Adeline Johns-Putra (Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University) and Prof. Indra Øverland (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs). The Oslo School of Environmental Humanities based at the University of Oslo will create the perfect environment as host for cutting-edge research groups on energy and environment to which Petro-Ambiguity will add an essential non-European angle.


Net EU contribution
€ 226 751,04
Problemveien 5-7
0313 Oslo

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Norge Oslo og Viken Oslo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Non-EU contribution
No data