Gisa Weszkalnys

I am an economic anthropologist with an interest in how the future figures in human practice. My research pioneers an ethnographic analysis of future making as a political, material, and affective endeavour central to contemporary capitalism. I have carried out a number of significant research projects working both independently and in interdisciplinary teams, and have also worked as consultant researcher for a number of third sector and corporate organisations. My research has been published widely, including the book ‘Berlin, Alexanderplatz: Transforming Place in a Unified Germany’ (Berghahn, 2010), and a vole co-edited with Simone Abram, entitled ‘Elusive Promises: Planning in the Contemporary World’ (Berghahn, 2013). I am now writing a second monograph with the working title ‘A Doubtful Hope: Oil, Wealth, and Time in Atlantic Africa’. The book tracks the speculative logics at play in offshore hydrocarbon exploration in São Tomé and Príncipe, a former Portuguese colony in the Gulf of Guinea, and examines a new and deeply racialised politics of resource management, which revolves not simply around the democratic and technical aspects of oil’s exploitation but increasingly the affective dissonances associated with it. I build on my interest in the multiple and occasionally inconsistent temporalities of hydrocarbon extraction in a new UKRI-funded project entitled Fraying ties? Networks, territory and transformation in the UK oil sector (with Gavin Bridge, Durham University; Nana de Graaff, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; and James Marriott, Platform).

oil platform

Offering oil and gas licences every year distracts from the challenge of winding down UK North Sea

New areas for oil and gas development on the UK’s North Sea continental shelf are to be made available through annual licensing rounds subject to net zero tests. These proposals by the UK government, outlined in the 2023 king’s speech to parliament, fly in the face of recommendations by the Climate Change Committee – the government’s own independent advisers.

November 13, 2023