In Contemporary Literature, Jennifer Wenzel (Columbia University) writes, "LeMenager is one of our most incisive and inventive critics, period, and Living Oil is the cutting edge of what literary and cultural criticism is and might be. It’s the kind of book to recommend to graduate students, regard- less of field, as a model of what’s possible in the discipline, or to keep close at hand for inspiration."
In American Literary History online, Richard Crownshaw (Goldsmith's, University of London) writes: "More than just a social and cultural history of energy use in the US, Stephanie LeMenager’s Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century explores twentieth- and twenty-first-century structures of feeling generated by oil’s centrality to and permeation of American life. Demonstrating exhaustive archival research, Living Oil tracks this feeling and embodiment as it is culturally expressed across a wide range of media, from architectural, town and highway planning to museums, memorials, and heritage sites, graphic novels, novels, and poetry, as well as feature, documentary, and corporate propaganda films, photography (artistic, personal, and public), newspapers, and journals, and new digital and Net-based media."
Looking forward to writing a commissioned essay about oil culture and contexts for the first solo museum presentation of new works by British-Nigerian artist and filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa. At the Blaffer Art Museum in Houston, this September. Pictured: Amy Powell, Ryan Dennis, Brooke Anderson, Byron Caminero-Santangelo, Stephanie LeMenager.
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