Ila Tyagi

Ila Tyagi's picture
American Studies and Film Studies

My dissertation, tentatively titled “Seeing the Invisible: The American Oil Industry in Moving Images,” addresses visual solutions to the problem of representing phenomena that elude the eye. Over four chapters, I examine drones equipped with cameras monitoring the enormous spatial sprawl of oilfields in Alaska; guerrilla documentaries looking past BP’s attempts to conceal the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; animated sequences in Cold War-era sponsored films that depict underground drilling; and early actualities capturing the new appeals to smell, taste, and touch posed by an industry still in its infancy. By being attentive to how moving images extend human vision, I argue, we better understand how they are harnessed as an ideological tool.