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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Emily Roehl

Doctoral Student
Emily Roehl



Emily A. Roehl is a PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Master of Arts from Mills College in Oakland, California, where she studied American literature, performance studies, and dance history. Her work focuses on contemporary representations of the oil industry, particularly photography, performance, museums, and festivals that address unconventional oil (hydraulic fracturing, oil sands, deep water drilling).

Emily has served as an Assistant Instructor for Rhetoric and has been a Teaching Assistant for courses ranging from dance history to women and gender studies to technical communication. Emily was awarded the Susan K. Rollins Award for Best Paper in Museums, Archives, and Library Studies by the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association in 2013 and was a nominee for the Michael H. Granof Outstanding Graduate Student Award in 2012.

Emily is currently working on a dissertation that tracks representations of the contemporary oil industry from upstream to down in the material life of oil, from Alberta and North Dakota to Texas and Louisiana. She is also the co-founder of Mystery Spot Books, a Minneapolis-based artist book publisher that produces small-run artist books that explore geography and geology, cultural and physical.


environmental humanities, oil culture studies, performance studies, visual anthropology


The Pacific Tourist Redux.

Artists' book produced with Chad Rudder and published by Mystery Spot Books with a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. October 2011. 

Mystery Spot.

Artists' book produced with Chad Rutter and published by Hot Off The, an independent, pop-up publishing house, for an exhibition at The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, July 31–August 22, 2010.

“Six Feet Wasted on the Not Yet Dead.”

Thesis project, a hypertext document on land use and funeral customs in the Great Plains from 1862 to the present, Mills College, May 2010.

“The Performance Art Alphabet.”

Digital archive of major figures in 20th century performance art history, created for Moira Roth’s History of Performance Art course, Mills College, Fall 2009. 

“Signs of Welcome, Signs of the Possible: Public Practice in Rural California.”

Community Arts Network Online Reading Room, June 2009.

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