Looking for pop culture representations of the oil sands

frame from Avatar (2009)

frame from Avatar (2009)

I’m working on a research paper about pop culture representations of the oil industry; I’m especially interested in Canadian works, and in representations of the Alberta oil sands. I have found a few great leads so far: Corb Lund’s peak oil ballad “Gettin down on the mountain”; James Cameron’s film Avatar.

If you know of pop culture texts, especially Canadian works, that refer to the oil industry – especially the oil sands – please leave a comment here (or e-mail me).

I’d be particularly grateful for references to pop music, theatre, TV, and science fiction works.

The research in progress is tentatively titled “Monster mines and pipelines: Frankenstein figures of fossil fuel technology,” and will be presented on March 4 at #AthaU’s inaugural Alberta Studies symposium, and again in June at Congress.

3 responses to “Looking for pop culture representations of the oil sands

  1. Not popular culture, but I’m assuming you know about this local scholarly stuff: http://www.csj.ualberta.ca/imaginations/?p=3869

  2. Looks like you’re not the only one thinking about it: http://openoil.net/2011/11/16/a-pop-culture-of-oil-primer/

    I do wonder if the fears of peak oil are part of what touched off the disaster and post-apocalyptic fetish we see in pop culture now? I mean, Mad Max was among the first of the really great post-oil stories, but maybe there’s something to the fact that survivors are in such a lot of trouble when heating oil and gasoline stop being available in the disaster stories…?

    Also – an excellent movie source for pop culture and oil reference: ‘The Last Winter.’ Eerie, creepy horror (though the effects are a little lame at the end, the story is fascinating and scary!). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454864/ It’s not Canadian, but it did run at the TIFF. Watch it when it’s overcast and snowy and it’s even creepier.

  3. Another movie that apparently talks about oil prospecting stirring up trouble: ‘Mongolian Death Worm.’


    I’ll watch it and let you know.

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