Introduction to Critical and Creative Engagements with Petro-Media


  • Emily Roehl Texas State University
  • Rachel Webb Jekanowski Memorial University



The production of oil is imbricated in financial and socio-political systems as well as ways of mediating the worlds in which we live. Like infrastructures used to transport fuel, audio-visual media and other forms of cultural production (museums, poetry, film, visual art) can serve as conduits for ideas about energy, identity, relationships to the nonhuman world, and history. This special issue of Imaginations on “Critical and Creative Engagements with Petro-Media” explores how media has been used to examine petroleum’s place within Canadian and American cultural landscapes as well as oil’s attendant socio-political and economic structures. Given our location on occupied Indigenous territories where we work as researchers and educators, we assert that energy developments are always already implicated within histories of white settlement in North America. Drawing on literary and film studies, energy humanities scholarship, critical museum studies, and a variety of creative and analytical research methods, the contributors to this issue theorize contemporary and historical practices of corporate petro-media alongside creative interventions to trace the interlacing of oil, media, and settler colonialism.

Author Biographies

Emily Roehl, Texas State University

Emily Roehl is an energy humanities scholar and artist whose work has recently appeared in Environmental History, Southern Cultures, and Jump Cut. Over the past few years, she has collaborated on a series of publications and events on energy justice, place-based research-creation, and lower-carbon research methods. Her collaborative project (with Sage Gerson and the graduate students of the Sawyer Seminar at UCSB) on the history of oil in Santa Barbara is forthcoming from Media+Environment. Roehl is an Assistant Professor of English and Journalism at Augustana University and the co-founder of artist book publisher Mystery Spot Books.

Rachel Webb Jekanowski, Memorial University

Rachel Webb Jekanowski is an interdisciplinary scholar working between film and media studies, cultural studies, and the environmental/energy humanities. Dr. Jekanowski is an Assistant Professor at Memorial University - Grenfell, on the ancestral lands of the Mi'kmaq, Beothuk, Innu, and Inuit (in Newfoundland and Labrador). Her current book project, Cinemas of Extraction: Land, Resources, Settler Imaginaries, examines environmental and colonial entanglements of twentieth-century nontheatrical and documentary filmmaking in Canada and the United States. You can find her at and on Twitter @stalebreadzine.


Gomez-Barris, Macarena. The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives. Durham: Duke University Press, 2017.

Pasek, Anne. “Low-Carbon Research: Building a Greener and More Inclusive Academy.” Engaging Science, Technology, and Society, no. 6, 2020, pp. 34-38.

Szeman, Imre, and Jennifer Wenzel. “What do we talk about when we talk about extractivism?” Textual Practice, vol. 35, no. 3, 2021, pp. 505-523.




How to Cite

Roehl, E., & Jekanowski, R. W. (2022). Introduction to Critical and Creative Engagements with Petro-Media. Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 13(1), 7–12.