Photo of Ian Wereley

Ian Wereley

Contract Instructor

Degrees:B.A., M.A. (Carleton), Ph.D. (Carleton)

Biographical Note

I am an energy historian interested in the past, present, and future of oil. My work seeks to demonstrate how history offers important lessons for navigating our own changing energy landscapes, and my recent publications include studies of energy transitions, oil company advertising, and the anthropomorphosis of fossil fuels into characters like King Coal and Prince Petroleo. I serve as an Adjunct Curator of the History of Energy at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, and am the Executive Director of the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies.


2018 – 2019
Postdoctoral Associate
Calgary Institute for the Humanities, Calgary

2012 – 2018
Doctor of Philosophy – History
Carleton University, Ottawa

2010 – 2012
Master of Arts – History
Carleton University, Ottawa

2006 – 2010
Bachelor of Arts – International History
Carleton University, Ottawa


Ian Wereley. 2021. “Rather of Promise Than of Performance: Tracing Networks of Knowledge and Power Through the Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 1882-1922.” In Constance Backhouse, et al. (Eds.), Royally Wronged: The Royal Society of Canada’s Role in the Marginalization of Indigenous Knowledge (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Ian Wereley. 2020. “Advertising an Empire of Oil: The British Petroleum Company and the Persian Khan Exhibit of 1924-1925.” MediaTropes 7, no. 2.

Ian Wereley. 2019. “King Coal versus Prince Petroleo: Imagining Oil, Energy, and Transition in Early Twentieth-Century Britain.” In Heather Graves and David Beard (Eds.), The Rhetoric of Oil in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Routledge.

Ian Wereley. 2016. “Extracting the Past from the Present: Exotic Prizes, Empty Wilderness, and Commercial Conquest in Two Oil Company Advertisements, 1925-2012.” Humanities 5, no. 2.

General Audience

Ian Wereley. 2020. “Review: Graham D. Taylor, Imperial Standard: Imperial Oil, Exxon, and the Canadian Oil Industry from 1880. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2019.” Labour/Le Travail, vol. 85 (Spring): 304-306.

Ian Wereley. 2019. “Research on the Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, 1898-1947.” Ottawa: Royal Society of Canada.

PhD Dissertation: “Imagining the Age of Oil: Case Studies in British Petrocultures, 1865-1935.” Carleton University, 2012-2018.

Master’s Thesis: “Discourse of Dissent: Bernard Acworth, the British Anti-Oil Movement, and the Royal Navy’s Use of Fuels, 1927-1937.” Carleton University, 2010-2012.

Teaching and Training

HIST 2910 O – “A History of Oil: Science, Technology, Culture & Conflict”
Department of History, Carleton University

“A History of Oil: Past, Present, and Future”
Learning in Retirement Lecture Series, Carleton University

“Oil History for Everyone”
Enrichment Mini-Course Program for Elementary Students
EMCP, Carleton University

Community Engagement

Invited Talks

Dec 2021 “Ottawa’s Power: An Energy History of the National Capital Region”  Bytown Museum.

Nov. 2019        “Discussions on the Future of the 3MT Competition”
CAGS 57th Annual Conference, Halifax

Sept. 2019       Energy and Scale Conference, Banff

Nov. 2018        SSHRC Take Our Kids to Work Day, Ottawa

October 2018  Calgary Institute for The Humanities Public Lecture, Calgary

Conference Presentations

August 2020    Petrocultures: Transformations, Stavanger, Norway [Cancelled]

May 2020        Canadian Historical Association, London [Cancelled]

March 2020     American Society for Environmental History, Ottawa [Cancelled]

June 2019        Canadian Historical Association, Vancouver

May 2017        Canadian Historical Association Conference, Toronto

August 2016    Petrocultures: The Offshore Conference, St. John’s

June 2016        Environmental Studies Association of Canada Conference, Calgary

May 2016        Canadian Historical Association Conference, Calgary

May 2016        SSHRC Imagining Canada’s Future Forum, Calgary

Media Interviews

May 2022    The Globe and Mail, Toronto
Ivan Semeniuk, “Prominent researchers urge Ottawa to increase top science scholarships above poverty line.”

March 2020     CBC Radio, Edmonton
Tara McCarthy, “Low Oil Prices and What it Means for Alberta.”

January 2020   University Affairs Magazine, Canada
Laura Beaulne-Stuebing, “Formalizing 3MT Rules a ‘Pandora’s Box’ for CAGS.”

Nov. 2019        CBC Radio Saskatchewan, Regina
Garth Materi, Blue Sky, “Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan.”

January 2019   FASS Newsletter, Carleton University
Nick Ward, “A Dozen Years at Carleton Studying History and Oil.”

Nov. 2017        Library and Archives Canada Podcast, Ottawa
Geneviève Morin, “Canada 150: Reflect and Reimagine.”

April 2017        Universities Canada, Ottawa
Promotional Video: “What are you going to do with an arts degree?”

October 2016  Universities Canada, Ottawa
Promotional Video: “#MyCanada2067.”

Awards & Scholarships

March 2022    Teaching and Learning Services, Carleton University
Carleton University Experiential Learning Fund (CUELF)

2013 – 2016    Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Canada Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral)

August 2016    Carleton University
MacOdrum Library Open Access Award

May 2016        Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
“The Storytellers” Research Communication Competition

March 2016     Carleton University
Graduate Research and Innovative Thinking Award (GRIT)

March 2015     Carleton University
Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT)

April 2013        Carleton University
Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

2012 – 2013    Government of Ontario
Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral)