Examines how settler colonial and sexist infrastructures and narratives order a resource boom
Over the past decade, new oil plays have unsettled U.S. energy landscapes and imaginaries. Settling the Boom studies how the disruptive forces of an oil boom in the northern Great Plains are contained through the extension of settler temporalities, reassertions of heteropatriarchy, and the tethering of life to the volatility of oil and its cruel optimisms.
This collection reveals the results of sustained research in Williston, North Dakota, the epicenter of the “Bakken Boom.” While the boom brought a rapid influx of capital and workers, the book questions simple timelines of before and after. Instead, Settling the Boom demonstrates how the unsettling forces of an oil play resolve through normative narratives and material and affective infrastructures that support settler colonialism’s violent extension and its gendered orders of time and space. Considering a wide range of evidence, from urban and regional policy, interviews with city officials, media, photography, and film, these essays analyze the ongoing material, aesthetic, and narrative ways of life and land in the Bakken.
Contributors: Morgan Adamson, Macalester College; Kai Bosworth, Virginia Commonwealth U; Thomas S. Davis, Ohio State U; Jessica Lehman, Durham U.