Emily Roehl


I am a PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. My work focuses on contemporary representations of the North American oil industry, particularly photography, performance, and activist interventions that address unconventional or "tough" oil, including tar sands, hydraulic fracturing, and deep water drilling. I am currently working on a dissertation that analyzes the environmental aesthetics and eco-affects that coalesce around the tough oil industry from upstream to down in the material life of oil, from tar sands photography in Alberta to Keystone XL pipeline protest in Nebraska to the post-BP blowout landscapes of southern Louisiana. I am also the co-founder of Mystery Spot Books, a Minneapolis-based artist book publisher that produces small-run artist books, zines, and other publications that trace the contours and quirks of place-based experience in the human-altered landscape.