Lecture Chelsea Schields: Oil and Intimacy in the Caribbean


Critical Pathways and Energy in Transition present a lecture by historian Chelsea Schields (UC Irvine) on her most recent book, Offshore Attachments: Oil and Intimacy in the Caribbean (University of California Press). Schields will discuss how the contested management of sex and race transformed the Caribbean into a crucial site in the global oil economy.

Laws regulating sex and reproduction

By the mid-twentieth century, Curaçao and Aruba housed the world’s largest oil refineries. To bolster this massive industrial experiment, oil corporations and political authorities offshored intimacy, circumventing laws regulating sex, reproduction, and the family in a bid to maximise profits and pacify labourers. Moving from Caribbean oil towns to European metropolises and examining such issues as sex work, contraception, kinship, and the constitution of desire, Schields narrates a surprising story of how racialised concern with sex shaped hydrocarbon industries as the age of oil met the end of empire.

After the lecture, Nikkie Wiegink (Department of Cultural Anthropology) and Gert Jan Kramer (Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development) will act as respondents.

Drinks will be served afterwards from 17h00-18h00 (in the Minnaert Café).

We hope to see many of you there!

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End date and time
Buys Ballot Building 1.65

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