Mark Simpson, PhD (Duke), MA (Alberta), BA (Hons) (Alberta)

Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept


Professor, Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept
4-23 Humanities Centre
11121 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5


Area of Study / Keywords

Energy Humanities Cultural Studies Mobility Theory US Literature + Culture


I have a number of research projects ongoing, including a co-authored book on the political philosophy of energy impasse and a book on the postcard craze in the US circa 1900. I am a principal investigator on the Energy Humanities theme in the Future Energy Systems research network at the U of A, and also one of three founding collaborators in EFS on the international research collective After Oil: Explorations and Experiments in the Future of Energy, Culture, and Society. In my spare time, I love to ride my road bike and to make music with my band.


My ongoing research concerns mobility, material culture, and energy. An Americanist by training, I am happy to work with graduate students on a range of topics in literary and cultural studies, particularly ones focused on aspects of the long American nineteenth century; on popular forms; on labor and class; on the politics of mobility; on petrocultures.


My undergraduate teaching regularly includes courses on American literature from first contact to 1865, American ideologies and technologies, print culture studies and the history of the book, and theories of class and ideology. I have taught graduate seminars on naturalism, new historicism, and new materialism; work and play in postbellum culture; embodiment in revolutionary America; American empire; crises in the US public sphere; culture war and class struggle in America; mobility regimes; maritime modernities; resource aesthetics.


ENGL 358 - American Texts to 1900

Studies in selected American literary and cultural texts (film, media, material objects) to 1900. Prerequisite: *6 of junior English, or *3 of junior English plus WRS 101 or 102.

ENGL 583 - Cultural Studies

Browse more courses taught by Mark Simpson


Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice

Author(s): After Oil Collective
Publication Date: 4/1/2022
Publication: Minneapolis
External Link:

"Impasse Time"

Author(s): Mark Simpson and Imre Szeman
Publication Date: 2021
Publication: South Atlantic Quarterly
Volume: 120
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 77-89
External Link:

"Five Theses on Sabotage in the Shadow of Fossil Capital"

Author(s): Mark Simpson and Jeff Diamanti
Publication Date: 6/1/2018
Publication: Radical Philosophy
Volume: 2 (Series 2)
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 10
External Link:


Author(s): Mark Simpson
Publication Date: 6/1/2017
Publication: Petrocultures: Oil, Politics, Culture (McGill-Queen's University Press)
Page Numbers: 287-318
External Link:

Literary/Liberal Entanglements: Toward a Literary History for the Twenty-First Century

Author(s): Corrinne Harol and Mark Simpson, editors
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: University of Toronto Press
Page Numbers: 344


Author(s): Mark Simpson
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment (Fordham UP)
Page Numbers: 206-8
External Link:

After Oil

Author(s): Petrocultures Research Group
Publication Date: 10/1/2016
Publication: University of Alberta
Page Numbers: 80
External Link:

"Introduction: Toward a Theory of Resource Aesthetics"

Author(s): Brent Ryan Bellamy, Michael O'Driscoll, and Mark Simpson
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Postmodern Culture
Volume: 26
Issue: 2
External Link:

"Obama's Playlist: Materializing Transnational Desire at the CBC"

Author(s): Mark Simpson
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Material Cultures in Canada (Wilfred UP 2015)

"Postcard Culture in America: The Traffic in Traffic"

Author(s): Mark Simpson
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: US Popular Print Culture, 1860-1920 (Oxford UP)
Page Numbers: 169-89

Trafficking Subjects: The Politics of Mobility in Nineteenth-Century America

Author(s): Mark Simpson
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: University of Minnesota Press