Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire book event at Lakehead

The Sustainable Food Systems Lab, RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab, Lakehead’s Department of English and Lakehead’s Social Justice Studies Program are pleased to present a book event for Dr. Max Haiven’s 2022 publication Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire

About the event

Friday, October 28, 1pm

Free, and open to the public

Dr. Haiven will present key themes from the book, followed by facilitated Q&A. Snacks will be served.

This is a hybrid event, accessible both in person and on zoom.

In person

Sustainable Food Systems Lab, Room 2001 of Lakehead’s PACI campus (Law School Building) in Thunder Bay

Access: There are about 12 steps that need to be either climbed or descended from an elevator-accessible floor to reach the SFS Lab.

On zoom

Those wishing to attend on Zoom are asked to complete this short form. The link will be emailed in the hours before the event.

About the book

It’s in our food, our cosmetics, our fuel and our bodies. Palm oil, found in half of supermarket products, has shaped our world. Max Haiven uncovers how the gears of capitalism are literally and metaphorically lubricated by this ubiquitous elixir.

From its origins in West Africa to today’s Southeast Asian palm oil superpowers, Haiven’s sweeping, experimental narrative takes us on a global journey that includes looted treasures, the American system of mass incarceration, the history of modern art and the industrialisation of war. Beyond simply calling for more consumer boycotts, he argues for recognising in palm oil humanity’s profound potential to shape our world beyond racial capitalism and neo-colonial dispossession.

One part history, one part dream, one part theory, one part montage, this kaleidoscopic and urgent book asks us to recognise the past in the present and to seize the power to make a better world.

About the author

Max Haiven is a writer and teacher and Canada Research Chair in the Radical Imagination. His most recent books are Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire (2022), Revenge Capitalism: The Ghosts of Empire, the Demons of Capital, and the Settling of Unpayable Debts (2020) and Art after Money, Money after Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization (2018). Haiven is editor of VAGABONDS, a series of short, radical books from Pluto Press. He teaches at Lakehead University, where he co-directs the ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL).