Comparative Literature Luncheon to feature lecture by Jennifer Wenzel Nov. 13

November 10, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jennifer Wenzel, associate professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University, will present “Towards an Oil Inventory” at 12:15 p.m. Nov.13, in Room 102 of the Kern Building.

Wenzel specializes in postcolonial literature and theory, with particular emphasis on the Anglophone literatures of West and Southern Africa. Her first book, "Bulletproof: Afterlives of Anticolonial Prophecy in South Africa and Beyond" (Chicago and KwaZulu-Natal, 2009), examines the literary and cultural afterlives of the 1856-57 Xhosa cattle killing, and was awarded the Perkins Prize by the International Society for the Study of Narrative. 

Her more recent work engages the environmental humanities and energy studies. Her article, "Petro-Magic-Realism: Towards a Political Economy of Nigerian Literature" (Postcolonial Studies 2006), theorizes the relationships among fossil fuels, narrative form and the publishing industry.

She is the co-editor (with Imre Szeman and Patricia Yaeger) of "Fueling Culture: Energy, History Politics" (Fordham, 2017), a compendium of 100+ keywords related to energy, written by scholars, artists, and activists from across the humanities and social science disciplines and around the world. She is also currently at work on two book projects: "Reading for the Planet" and "Contrapuntal Environmentalisms: Nature, North and South."

This event is a part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon lecture series, a weekly, informal lunchtime gathering of students, faculty and other members of the University community. Each week the event begins at 12:15 p.m. – coffee, tea and light lunch fare are provided. At 12:30 p.m. there will be a presentation, by a visitor or a local speaker, on a topic related to any humanities discipline. All students, faculty, colleagues and friends are welcome.

For a full list of Comparative Literature lunches, visit  This event is sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature and the Center for Global Studies.       

Last Updated November 10, 2017