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UND Digital Press releases ‘The Bakken Goes Boom’ (VIDEO)

The Digital Press at UND has released the first, peer-reviewed, book-length collection of studies about the Bakken oil boom in Western North Dakota: The Bakken Goes Boom: Oil and the Changing Geographies.

Associate Professor of History William Caraher and former UND Assistant Professor of English and Communication Kyle Conway (now at the University of Ottawa) edited the volume.

(Left to right) John Holmgren, faculty member at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania; Bret Weber, UND Social Work; Bill Caraher, UND History; Aaron Hoffman, a student at Franklin & Marshall College, Richard Rothaus, North Dakota University System vice chancellor; and Kostis Kourelis, from Franklin & Marshall College; pose for a photo in August 2015 in western North Dakota. Photo credit: John Holmgren.

(Left to right) John Holmgren, faculty member at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania; Bret Weber, UND Social Work; Bill Caraher, UND History; Aaron Hoffman, a student at Franklin & Marshall College, Richard Rothaus, North Dakota University System vice chancellor; and Kostis Kourelis, from Franklin & Marshall College; pose for a photo in August 2015 in western North Dakota. Photo credit: John Holmgren.

As oil production in North Dakota surged, people came from all over to work in the western part of the state. Communities struggled to keep up with the increased population. This book addresses the challenges these communities faced at the height of boom and will continue to face as the price of oil fluctuates.

“The neat thing about this book is that it’s not just academics talking to each other,” said Conway. “It’s journalists, poets and artists, too.  Art and poetry can open up a different world for us which is why everyone whose life is affected by oil — and that means everyone, not just North Dakotans — should read this book.”

The book features contributions from national and local authors who each offer distinct visions of the challenges and opportunities of the Bakken oil boom in the context of both Western North Dakota and the world, and  captures a fascinating moment in the history both of the state and of global oil production.

Last year, the Digital Press published a translation of Karl Jakob Skarstein’s The War with the Sioux: Norwegians against Indians 1862-1863, the story about Norwegian immigrants, American soldiers and Lakota and Dakota Indians as they sought to protect their ways of life. It was translated by UND Associate Professor of Norwegian Melissa Gjellstad and UND alumna Danielle Mead Skjelver. In 2014, the press published a pair of well-received books on archaeology: Punk Archaeology, edited by William Caraher, Kostis Kourelis, and Andrew Reinhard, andVisions of Substance, edited by William Caraher and UND alumnus Brandon Olson.

The Digital Press at UND is a creative reimagining of the traditional university press. It publishes innovative and timely works in archaeology and on topics intersecting with life in North Dakota and the Northern Plains. The books are available for free, and whenever possible, under open access licenses.

Digital Press at UND Releases “The Bakken Goes Boom: Oil & the Changing Geographies of Western North Dakota” from University of North Dakota on Vimeo.

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