Maurizio Totaro

My ongoing doctoral project focuses on the entanglements between oil extraction and socio-political change in Mangystau region (Kazakhstan), where I have conducted sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in 2017-2018. In particular, I have been looking at how political subjectivities are moulded in relation to the oil complex and the multiple transformations the latter has gone through in the Soviet and contemporary periods. Further research interests include the study of energy in representational, symbolic and literary forms (“environmental humanities” and “petrocultures”); the biopolitics of energy (“energopolitics”); and theories of affect and materiality. More recently, I have developed an interest in security studies, particularly in the affective performativity of discourses and practices articulating, enforcing, and contesting securitizing agendas.

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