Dr. Petra Dolata
M.A. American Studies (minors North American History, International Relations), Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 1996
Ph.D. International Relations, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 2003
I am an energy historian with a background in both International History and International Relations. Before joining the University of Calgary in July 2014 I was a lecturer at King's College London, UK, first in War Studies (2007-2010) and then in International Politics (2010-2014). At King's I was also the Research Director of the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security EUCERS. From 2002 to 2007 I was Assistant Professor of North American History at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.
I hold a Master's degree in American Studies from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, where I also received my PhD in International Relations with a study on US-German (energy) relations in the late 1950s and early 1960s, which was published in 2006 with Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften (Die deutsche Kohlenkrise in nationalen und transatlantischen Kontext).
From 2014 until 2019 I was Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in the History of Energy. I am currently the Scholar in Residence at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH), where I also co-convene the Energy In Society working group. I was the 2022 Rachel Carson Simone Veil Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society and Project House Europe, both located at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany (Project: Energy Transitions as Lived Experience: A Transnational Study of Deindustrializing Coal Regions in Europe Since 1945). In 2021 I was a FRIAS Senior Fellow (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow of the European Union) at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), University of Freiburg, Germany with a project on Women in Energy Transitions: Agency, Resilience and Complicity. At the University of Calgary, I am also a Member of ABBY-Net (The Albertan-Bavarian Research Network for Sustainable Energy Transitions).
My current research interests include European and North American energy history after 1945 as well as the history and politics of the Canadian and circumpolar Arctic. I have published on Canada's foreign and Arctic policies, transatlantic relations, and the concept of energy security. I was the principal investigator of a research project funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) entitled “The 1970s Energy Crises and Energy Security: A Cross-national and Transatlantic History” (2017-2022). Focusing on five countries – Canada, the United States, the UK, the Netherlands and West Germany – I am tracing the emergence of energy as an important political issue and energy security as a powerful story that develop in response to the various energy crises of the 1970s. In addition, using oral and everyday historical sources, I am exploring how people have made sense of energy in the 1970s, how it intersected with environmental discussions and how it linked to deindustrialization in some of these countries. As a co-investigator in another SSHRC-funded research project on Brexit led by Achim Hurrelmann, Carleton University (The Reconfiguration of Canada-Europe Relations after Brexit) and which examines how Canada’s transatlantic relationship with various partners in Europe is affected by Brexit, I am focusing on energy and environmental aspects of the Canada-Europe relationship and use an approach informed by historical institutionalism to discuss Canada - Europe relations. I am also one of the lead scholars on a 7-year SSHRC-funded Partnership project on Deindustrialization and the Politics of our Time (2020-2027). Based at the University of Concordia's Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling under the direction of Steven High, the goal of the project is to understand the deep roots, experiences and long-term consequences of deindustrialization across six countries. Since 2022 I collaborate with the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board (SRRB) on a SSHRC-funded (Engage Grant) project that examines the history and legacies of oil and gas activities at Norman Wells, NWT (Reinscribing Indigenous Lives and Homelands in a Canadian Energy Landscape: Writing New Histories of Petroleum Extraction at Norman Wells) and which is part of a larger project by the SRRB entitled A Century of Petroleum Extraction at Tłegǫ́hłı̨ (Norman Wells): Indigenous Knowledge for Indigenous Guardianship. I am also very much interested in transdisciplinary research (TDR) and involved in an initiative which assesses the role for sustainable, equitable, cost-effective and rapidly deployable carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies in meeting Canada’s net-zero targets (CanCO2Re).
As the co-convenor of the Energy In Society working group at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) I am interested in examining how societies have made sense of energy in their everyday lives as well as part of a larger polity and in understanding energy transitions and energy systems as inherently social, i.e. tied to and embedded within other social practice. I am particularly interested in individual energy stories and especially those of women.
|Course number||Course title||Semester|
|HTST 633.6||Topics in Modern European History: Deindustrializing Europe||Winter 2024|
|HTST 496||Historical Methods and Philosophies of History||Fall 2023|
In this SSHRC-funded research project (2017-2022), I focus on five countries – Canada, the United States, the UK, the Netherlands and West Germany – and trace the emergence of energy as an important political issue and energy security as a powerful story that develop in response to the various energy crises of the 1970s. In addition, using oral and everyday historical sources, I am exploring how people have made sense of energy in the 1970s, how it intersected with environmental discussions and how it linked to deindustrialization in some of these countries.
As a co-investigator in this SSHRC-funded research project on Brexit led by Achim Hurrelmann, Carleton University, which examines how Canada’s transatlantic relationship with various partners in Europe is affected by Brexit, I am focusing on energy and environmental aspects of the Canada-Europe relationship and use an approach informed by historical institutionalism to discuss Canada - Europe relations.
I am a co-investigator in a 7-year SSHRC-funded Partnership project on Deindustrialization and the Politics of our Time (2020-2027). Based at the University of Concordia's Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling under the direction of Steven High, the goal of the project is to understand the deep roots, experiences and long-term consequences of deindustrialization across six countries.
I am particularly interested in the connection between energy and economic transitions. Examining the Strukturwandel in the German Ruhr region, I examine the lived experience of the single-fuel energy transition from coal to oil.
This is a collaborative and community-led research project, designed by Sahtú communities and facilitated by the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board (SRRB). In a historical report it will document and provide community-informed and archival-based histories of petroleum extraction in the Norman Wells area, the earliest commercial oil operation in Canada's North, operated by Imperial Oil since 1919. In the wake of recent announcements by the company to close the facilities, Sahtú communities identified the need for such a historical study. At study circles, they shared oral histories about their experiences of petroleum development and extraction at Norman Wells and pointed out that there remained questions about the historical motivations and actions of industry and government, which require expert and extensive archival research which is directed by the questions and informed by the decisions of the communities.
Through archival research in corporate (Glenbow Western Research Centre, Calgary, and ExxonMobile Historical Collection, Austin, Texas) and governmental (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa; NWT Archives, Yellowknife; National Archives, College Park, Maryland) repositories, the project team's historians will look for evidence of the global, national, and regional aspects of the development of the Norman Wells oilfields and bring together all dimensions of energy production and consumption. Directed by the communities' questions this research project will prioritize the perspectives and experiences of Sahtú Dene and Métis through an ongoing iterative process of knowledge co-creation, in which preliminary findings are brought back to communities to be discussed and validated at study circles, and a historical report is co-written through this community-driven knowledge creation process. This historical report will respond to local questions and needs, while also making more Canadians aware of these energy histories and fostering public energy literacy.
In this initiative, funded primarily by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), an interdisciplinary team of researchers is assessing the role for sustainable, equitable, cost-effective and rapidly deployable carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies in meeting Canada’s net-zero targets. We will identify and assess the cost, environmental impact and scalability of CDR technologies; ways in which CDR deployment will be shaped by (and shape) law and governance, stakeholder and community perceptions; and trade-offs inherent in developing supportive legislation and policies for CDR in Canada towards a 2050 net-zero goal.
The CanCO2Re initiative brings together experts from a range of fields, including engineering, science, history, political science and economics. While the initiative is housed at the University of Calgary, we have participating experts from the University of Alberta, University of Toronto, Simon Fraser University and the Pembina Institute. We are also collaborating closely with Natural Resources Canada’s CanmetENERGY laboratory.
- Canadian Foreign Policy . 216-33. (2022)
- Petra Dolata. RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society 2020, 1. 51-55. (2020)
- Petra Dolata. Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique 50, 1. 351-367. (2017)
- Petra Dolata. Journal of Military and Strategic Studies 17, 3. 92-106. (2016)
- Petra Dolata. Revue Etudes Canadiennes 78. 131-154. (2015)
- Petra Dolata. Zeitschrift für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik 7, 3. 301-310. (2014)
- Petra Dolata. Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien 32, 2. 65-83. (2012)
- Petra Dolata. Zeitschrift für Kanada-Studien 30, 2. 28-44. (2010)
- Petra Dolata. International Journal 63, 3. 665-681. (2008)
- Petra Dolata. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. (2006)
- Petra Dolata. Cham: Springer. 1-24. (2022)
- Petra Dolata. Kingston & Montreal: Queens McGill University Press. 155-173. (2021)
- Petra Dolata. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 185-198. (2021)
- Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. 37-59. (2021)
- Petra Dolata. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier. 25-37. (2020)
- Petra Dolata. Berlin: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. 464-493. (2018)
- Holger Basten; Peter Dörrenbacher; Petra Dolata. Berlin: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. 256-287. (2018)
- Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. (2017)
- Petra Dolata. London: Routledge. (2013)
- Petra Dolata. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier. 145-60. (2011)
- Petra Dolata. Don Mills, Ont: Oxford University Press. (2010)
- Petra Dolata. European Parliament Policy Department, Directorate-General for External Policies. 50 pages. (2020)
- Petra Dolata. Ottawa: Canadian Global Affairs Institute/Institut canadien des affaires mondiale. (2018)
- Petra Dolata. Ottawa: Canadian Global Affairs Institute/Institut canadien des affaires mondiale. (2017)
- Petra Dolata. Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. (2015)
- Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik/German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin: SWP Research Paper . (2013)
In the News
- How to Ditch Fossil Fuels without Leaving Workers Behind. CBC What On Earth. (2023)
- Gloria Dickie, “China Wants to Invest in the Arctic. Why Doesn’t Canada?”. The Walrus January/February 2021. (2021)
- “How pipelines went from engineering marvel to project non grata”. CBC The Cost Of Living. (2021)
- “A gold mine in Nunavut is the most recent focal point of a longstanding debate: Is Canada doing enough to protect its interest in the North”. CBC The House. (2020)
- Jameson Berkow, "How Canada can be an energy superpower without crude oil". BNN Bloomberg. (2018)
- Peter Fairley, “The Energy Matrix”. Nature 551. (2017)
- Podcast “The Shifting Tides within Canada's Energy Industry”. The Global Exchange - A CGAI Podcast. (2017)
- “Tagesgespräch: Brände in Kanadas Ölprovinz”. Radio SRF (Swiss National Radio). (2016)
- “Canada’s Energy Past and Future”. The Agenda with Steve Paikin (TVO). (2015)
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