Oil, Labor and the Making of the Iranian Revolution
Just as sugar defined the 18th century, and cotton and coal the 19th century, oil has been the defining commodity of the 20th century. Its historical, as well as its contemporary role in forging modern capitalism is often reduced to its (geo) political and economic aspects. Working within the emerging field of energy humanities, Peyman Jafari’s research is focused on retrieving the social and cultural entanglements of oil and modernity and reconnecting them with the state and the economy. In this lecture, Jafari recasts the history of oil through the exploration of oil workers’ activism during the transformative moments in 20th century Iran, with a particular focus on the Iranian Revolution.