Solarity: After Oil School 2


After Oil School 2

 Canadian Centre for Architecture – Montreal QC, Canada

May 23-25, 2019

Solarity: After Oil School 2 is organized by the Petrocultures Research Group and the Grierson Chair in Communication Studies. A follow-up to the successful After Oil School held in Edmonton, Alberta, in 2015, Solarity will gather forty international scholars, students, artists, activists and practitioners for three days of intensive reflection and collaboration on the challenges and possibilities of a social transition to energy systems and communities organized around the energy of the sun.

What social conditions would be required to initiate and sustain an energy transition animated by solarity, and what might arise from such a transition? What can the history of diverse cultures of solarity teach us about this possibility? What infrastructures, architectures, institutions, practices and relationships would be implicated in a transition to solarity? Under what conditions might solarity imply solidarity? What will solarity look, feel and sound like?

The themes of Solarity: After Oil School 2 will include:

Indigenous solarities – Feminist solarities – Solarities North and South – Solarity’s economies – Arts of solarity – Politics of solarity – Urban/rural solarities – Solarity’s materialiaties – Solarity’s histories – Solarity’s futures – Solarity’s infrastructures/architectures – Solarity’s media – Solarity’s cultures

Animated by contemporary ferment in the fields of energy and environmental humanities, these questions will guide the curriculum and collaborative work of Solarity: After Oil School 2, which will include public events, a multi-media archive and on-site collaborative work aimed at making a concrete, ongoing contribution to public consideration of the challenge and potential of energy transition.

For more information, listen to Darin Barney and Imre Szeman discuss solarity on the Cultures of Energy podcast here.

View the syllabus here.


  • Darin Barney, Grierson Chair in Communication Studies (McGill)
  • Mark Simpson, Professor of English and Film Studies and Principal Investigator: Transition in Energy, Culture, & Society (Alberta)
  • Imre Szeman, University Research Professor in Communication Arts (Waterloo)
  • Sheena Wilson, Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies, Campus Saint-Jean and Principal Investigator: Speculative Energy Futures (Alberta)

Confirmed sponsors:

  • Petrocultures Research Group
  • Canadian Centre for Architecture
  • After Oil: Explorations and Experiments in the Future of Energy, Culture and Society
  • Future Energy Systems (U of Alberta)
  • Just Powers (U of Alberta)
  • Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences, Rice University
  • Ontario Climate Consortium
  • McConnell Foundation, Cities for People
  • Feminist Media Studio (Concordia)
  • Grierson Chair in Communication Studies
  • Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy
  • James McGill Chair in Culture and Technology
  • James McGill Chair in Contemporary Art History
  • McGill Office of Sustainability
  • Media@McGill
  • Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF)