Oil Beach is a remarkable example of how STS (science & technology studies) can engage with what is wondrous about the world while offering rigorous sociopolitical critique. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are a global nexus for oil production and trade. Christina Dunbar-Hester employs the concept of infrastructural vitalism to explore how LA port and shipping infrastructure is constructed as the living heart of the city's role in the global economy even as it destroys, suppresses, and commodifies organic life. In addition to readers who are working in the field or interested in the topic, I think scholars or writers with wide-ranging intellectual curiosity who are wondering how to make their interests connect fluidly in a single book will find Oil Beach valuable.
This short interview with the author gives a glimpse of what to expect.