In the fourth edition of the Environmental Humanities Book Chat, Catrin Gersdorf (University of Würzburg) and Sarah Elkind (San Diego State University) join moderator Hannes Bergthaller to discuss Stephanie LeMenager’s Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. For further details, visit the publisher’s website.
Sarah Elkind teaches environmental, political, urban, and public history, and runs SDSU’s public history internship program. She recently curated the exhibition “Sunshine and Superheroes” for the Oakland Museum of California in 2014. In 2011, she published How Local Politics Shape Federal Policy: Business, Power and the Environment in Twentieth Century Los Angeles. Her other works include Bay Cities and Water Politics: The Battle for Resources in Boston and Oakland (Kansas, 1998), which won the Abel Wolman prize for best book in public works history in 1998; and Public Works and Public Health: Reflections on Urban Politics and Environment, 1880-1925 (Public Works Historical Society, 1999). She is currently researching the evolution of national identity in Europe and the United States in two comparative studies, one considering American and Spanish water resources development, and another probing cowboys and Vikings in American and Danish popular history and museums.
Catrin Gersdorf holds the chair for American Studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany, and is a co-founder of the university’s Interdisciplinary Forum for Cultural Environmental and Animal Studies (IFCEAS). She is also a founding member of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and the Environment (EASLCE), as whose treasurer she has served for many years. Her book The Poetics and Politics of the Desert: Landscape and the Construction of America appeared in 2007, and she has co-edited (with Sylvia Mayer) the volumes Nature in Literary and Cultural Studies: Transatlantic Conversations on Ecocriticism (2006) and Natur – Kultur –Text: Beiträge zu Ökologie und Literaturwissenschaft (2005).