Matthew Schneider-Mayerson

Social Sciences (Environmental Studies)

Assistant Professor


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Matthew Schneider-Mayerson received his BA from Yale University in 2004 and his PhD from the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2013 before spending two years as the Cultures of Energy Postdoctoral Fellow at Rice University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Humanities. His first book, Peak Oil: Apocalyptic Environmentalism and Libertarian Political Culture, explores the American ‘peak oil’ movement in the context of contemporary responses to environmental crises (such as climate change), fossil fuel dependency and the spread of neoliberal ideals throughout American political culture. He is currently engaged in research projects on climate change fiction; empirical ecocriticism; ecotopianism; reproduction in the time of climate change; and the environmental dimensions of life in Singapore.

Environmental humanities
Climate fiction
Empirical ecocriticism
Environmental activism
Climate justice
Sea level rise

Peak Oil: Apocalyptic Environmentalism and Libertarian Political Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2015)

“Some Islands Will Rise: Singapore in the Anthropocene,” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, 4.1 (2017)

“Climate Change Fiction,” in American Literature in Transition: 2000 – 2010, edited by Rachel Greenwald Smith (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

“Affect,” in Fueling Culture: Energy, History, Politics, edited by Imre Szeman, Patricia Yaeger and Jennifer Wenzel (Fordham University Press, 2017)

“Paradoxical Infrastructures: Ruins, Retrofit, and Risk,” co-author, Science, Technology and Human Values, 41.3 (2016)

“From Politics to Prophecy: Environmental Quiescence and the ‘Peak-Oil’ Movement,” Environmental Politics, 22.5 (2013)

“Disaster Movies and the ‘Peak Oil’ Movement: Does Popular Culture Encourage Eco-Apocalyptic Beliefs in the U.S.?” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture, 7.3 (2013)

“Necrocracy in America: American Studies Begins to Address Fossil Fuels and Climate Change,” American Quarterly, 67.2 (June 2015)

“Fossilized in Houston,” public art project funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and DiverseWorks, February – June 2015, Houston, TX (

“The Dan Brown Phenomenon: Conspiracism in Post-9/11 Popular Fiction,” Radical History Review, 111 (2011)

“‘Too Black’: Race in The ‘Dark Ages’ of the National Basketball Association, 1976-1979” The International Journal of Sport and Society, 1.1 (2010)

“What Almost Was: The Politics of the Contemporary Alternate History Novel,” American Studies, 50.3/4 (2009)

Foundations of Environmental Humanities
Environmental Movements
Ecotopian Visions
Applied Environmental Research
Energy Humanities
SciFi and the Environment
Comparative Social Inquiry