Scandia introducerar: Petrocultures and energy history


  • Jens Millkrantz
  • Anna Åberg
  • Kristoffer Ekberg
  • Susanna Lidström



petrocultures, energy history, energy humanities, oil culture, oil history


Petrocultures is an emerging field in the humanities and social sciences but has so far been surprisingly absent in historical fields of research. In this article, we introduce the concept of petrocultures in relation to Swedish energy history. We explore how petrocultural theoretical concepts and perspectives could be useful for historical analyses by drawing attention to the ubiquitous presence of oil in our everyday lives, not least beyond its use as a fuel and energy source. We also suggest that historical perspectives might significantly inform and expand the petrocultures literature by situating petrocultural ideas and practices in their historical context. Finally, we propose that case studies of Swedish oil dependence might add important dimensions to existing petrocultures research, which so far has focused on export-dependent countries. Swedish energy history can help expand the petrocultures field of research from its present emphasis on how oil extraction and production shape economies, politics and cultures in oil-exporting nations and develop further knowledge on how oil consumption also shapes societies in more subtle ways.