Monthly Archives: August 2015

First Alberta-Saskatchewan Research Collaboration Grant results announced

KIAS and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity (USask) are pleased to announce “Prairie Sexualities: Theories, Archives, Affects, Communities” as the recipient of our first Alberta-Saskatchewan Research Collaboration Grant. The project convenes a multidisciplinary faculty team from the Universities of Alberta and Saskatchewan championed by Drs. Susanne Luhmann and Marie Lovrod to focus on queer and sexuality studies on the prairies, though not exclusively about the prairies.

Central to this project are questions of place and practice: how do our respective complex and specific prairie locations shape our work? How do queer-positive scholarly initiatives fare in prairie contexts and what conditions shape queer lives in Indigenous, urban and rural communities? What is it like to grow up or grow old as LGBTQ+ here? How are public/personal archival records of queer lives impacted where rurality remains a salient feature of socio-political relations?

The goal of this project is to develop sustainable, long-term, and transdisciplinary research collaborations among experts in the field of queer and sexualities studies at our universities and across the prairies to support more regionalized local, national, international, and transnational research in this field.


After Oil public roundtable draws large crowd, explores vital energy transition issues

(By Oliver Rossier and Angelique Rodrigues; Original published at

What comes after oil in Alberta? What would a post-fossil fuel future look like? Would we have to dramatically re-design cities, homes and transportation systems? And how can we shift our outlook now, to be ready for when those changes come?

These were just a few of the many difficult questions explored during the After Oil public roundtable held at the Art Gallery of Alberta on August 21.

Over 200 people packed the AGA for this discussion, which was expertly moderated by Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist (ATB Financial). Guest speaker Dr. Jennifer Jacquet (Environmental Studies, New York University) challenged the audience to think about the nuances of using shame as a tool, and suggested that shaming corporations might be a way to make environmental change more possible.

Full house at the AGA for After Oil 2015

Full house at the AGA for After Oil 2015

Dr. Imre Szeman, Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies, described the importance of taking ownership of the rules of social structures related to petrocultures. Dr. Trevor Harrison, Director of the Parkland Institute, encouraged the audience to imagine redefining globalization and economic diversification. Panelist Simon O’Byrne, Vice President of Stantec’s Urban Planning, invited discussion about changing education systems to create engaged citizens and entrepreneurs. Eddy Isaacs (Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions) urged the audience to recognize that energy literacy is a huge factor in our democracy.

Simon O'Byrne (VP, Urban Planning, Stantec) and Michael O'Driscoll (Petrocultures Research Team)

Simon O’Byrne (VP, Urban Planning, Stantec) and Michael O’Driscoll (Petrocultures Research Team)

The success of roundtable demonstrated that the Faculty of Arts, and UAlberta as a whole, can provide vital research leadership on these critical topics.

The full event video, linked here, shows the presentation by Jacquet and her fellow After Oil panellists, followed by a Q & A with members of the audience.

The After Oil public roundtable was part of a larger After Oil School, which saw academics from around the world come together at the University of Alberta from August 19 to 22 to research and discuss the economic, political and sociological impacts of transitioning to life after oil.

Out of the conference, researchers will produce a policy brief and research paper, both of which will be available to media and the public on the After Oil website in the coming weeks.

Scroll through the After Oil Storify below to read Tweets from our panellists, audience members and After Oil school participants.

Related links:
Petrocultures website:
Storify capturing the Twitter conversation:
Introductory article by Angelique Rodrigues:
KIAS After Oil research page:
Trending topics on Twitter in Edmonton:

Media coverage (to Aug 23):
Global News Edmonton
Byline: Shallima Maharaj

CBR-AM (CBC Radio One Calgary)
Byline: Donna Mcelligott

CBC French
Byline: Genevieve Potvin

What comes after oil, for Alberta, for Canada and for the world?

Petrocultures, The Kule Institute for Advanced Study and UAlberta’s Faculty of Arts invite you to

After Oil: A Free Public Roundtable

Friday, August 21, 2015

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Art Gallery of Alberta/AGA Ledcor Theatre

Members of the public are invited to come together to engage in big picture thinking about the importance of energy for our societies, and to consider together the difficult question of energy transition.

After 150 years of solid drilling, it’s unclear how much oil is left, and the negative effects of our reliance on this fossil fuel have never been more clear than they are today. How will our societies continue to thrive and prosper once our dominant source of energy is no longer available?

In the wake of a recent dramatic change in government, this roundtable provides an opportunity to pose questions about the deeper significance of oil for the shape and character of Alberta, and to start figuring out answers to these difficult questions – before it’s too late.

The After Oil roundtable will be led by New York University Professor Jennifer Jacquet, an environmental social scientist who explores large-scale cooperation dilemmas, including climate change. Jacquet will discuss the issues raised in her compelling new book Is Shame Necessary? in the context of oil and Alberta. Each panelist will have a chance to respond before the discussion is opened up to the audience.


Moderator: Todd Hirsch (Chief Economist, ATB Financial)

Guest Speaker: Jennifer Jacquet (Environmental Studies, New York University)


Simon O’Byrne (Vice-President, Urban Planning, Stantec)
Eddy Isaacs (Chief Executive Officer, Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions)
Sheena Wilson (Petrocultures, University of Alberta)
Imre Szeman (Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies – University of Alberta)
Trevor Harrison (Director, Parkland Institute, University of Alberta)

R.S.V.P. for After Oil here.

Please note, seating is limited.

Read more about the event on the Faculty of Arts’ After Oil website.

For more information about the After Oil KIAS cluster project, click here.

For more information on the Petrocultures research group at the University of Alberta, click here.

After Oil

Register Now for the Rural Alberta Innovation and Learning Commons

The Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ACSRC) is proud to announce that registration is open for the Rural Alberta Innovation and Learning Commons 2015! 

The ACSRC and the Battle River Alliance for Economic Development (BRAED) (Killam, AB), are hosting a three-day educational commons focused on rural economic and community development. The RAIL Commons will provide baseline and in-depth information that will create a strong foundation for understanding and knowledge surrounding rural community and economic development strategies, realities, best practices and challenges, and subject matter surrounding the well-being of rural as a whole.

Concentrating on subject matter such as rural policy and governance, social policy and services, tapping into natural resources, investment attraction, business succession strategies, infrastructure, transportation and logistics, youth retention and recruitment, and more, this learning commons will offer a variety of opportunities to increase the knowledge capacity of municipal officials, professionals and students in Alberta.

The Rural Alberta Innovation and Learning Commons (RAIL), co-sponsored by KIAS, will be hosted from October 2 -4, 2015 at University of Alberta, Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta. For more information about the RAIL Commons please visit

Commons Objectives:

  • Increase community and economic development knowledge capacity;
  • Improved collaboration amongst rural communities;
  • Providing a forum for networking and sharing between rural communities in Alberta;
  • Provide an avenue for training and professional development that is a minimal time and cost commitment; and,
  • Provide this forum to build a business case for the need for further rural economic and community development education opportunities.

Please share this information with anyone who may be interested in attending the RAIL Commons.