Imre Szeman

Imre Szeman
Building HL 524

I am inaugural director of Director of the Institute for Environment, Conservation and Sustainability at UTSC and a full professor of Human Geography. I was previously University Research Chair of Environmental Communication at the University of Waterloo (2017-2022), Canada Research Chair of Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta (2009-2016), and Senator William McMaster Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. In 2020, I was named as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. From 2021-2022, I served as the Climate Critic for the Green Party of Canada. The focus of my current research is on social and political change emerging from and in relation to energy transition. You can find more info on my research and writing at:


Ph.D. Duke University, Literature (1998)
M.A. University of Western Ontario, Theory and Criticism (1992)
B.A. (Hons). Queen’s University, Philosophy (1990)

Research Interests

  • Energy and environmental humanities
  • Politics of climate change
  • Critical and cultural theory
  • Social and political philosophy
  • Nationalism and post-nationalism
  • Technology and Society

Awards and Grants

Current Grants:

2021-2026 SSHRC Insight Grant: Mapping and Amplifying Policy Pathways to Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground ($381,517, Co-I)

2021-2023 SSHRC Connection Grant: Technoutopianism ($50,000)

2017-2024 Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF): Future Energy Systems (Transitions in Energy, Culture and Society) ($1.7 million, Co-I; sub-project within full $50 million grant)

Awards (Selected)

2022 Outstanding Performance Award, U of Waterloo

2021 Arts Award for Excellence in Research, Faculty of Arts, U of Waterloo

2020 Fellow, Royal Society of Canada and Fellow, Canadian International Council

2019 Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Leverhulme Trust and University of Glasgow

2018 Outstanding Performance Award, Faculty of Arts, University of Waterloo

2015 J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research, University of Alberta

2013 Killam Annual Professorship, University of Alberta

2008 President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision, McMaster University

2004 Scotiabank-AUCC Award for Excellence in Internationalization

2001 Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award

2000 John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature


Publications (selected)

Imre Szeman and Jennifer Wenzel, eds. Energized: Keywords for a New Politics of Energy. West Virginia UP, forthcoming 2024.

After Oil Collective. Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice. University of Minnesota Press, 2022. 92 pages.

Imre Szeman. On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture, and Energy. West Virginia UP, 2019. 288 pages. Chinese translation (trans. Jiannan Tang), forthcoming 2023.

Imre Szeman and Jeff Diamanti, eds. Energy Culture: Art and Theory on Oil and Beyond. Energy and Society Series. West Virginia UP, 2019. 276 pages.

Jeff Diamanti, Andrew Pendakis and Imre Szeman, eds. The Bloomsbury Companion to Marx. Bloomsbury, 2018. 680 pages.

Imre Szeman and Dominic Boyer, eds. Energy Humanities: An Anthology. Johns Hopkins UP, 2017. 616 pages.

Susie O’Brien and Imre Szeman. Popular Culture: A User’s Guide. 4th revised edition Nelson, 2017. Paperback edition, 2022. 561 pages.

Imre Szeman, Jennifer Wenzel and Patricia Yaeger, eds., Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment. Fordham UP, 2017. 456 pages.

Sheena Wilson, Adam Carlson and Imre Szeman, eds. Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture. McGill-Queen’s UP, 2017. Reprinted 2022. 535 pages.

Imre Szeman and the Petrocultures Research Group. After Oil. West Virginia UP, 2016. 78 pages. Persian translation, in preparation (trans. Roya Khoshnevis).