Southeast Professor to Present Paper at Int’l. ‘Oil And War’ Conference


Photo of Dr. Wayne Bowen

Dr. Wayne Bowen will present a paper at a conference on “Oil and War,” in February Paris, France.


Jan. 26, 2010 – Dr. Wayne Bowen, professor of history and chair of the Department of History at Southeast Missouri State University, has been invited to present a paper at a conference on “Oil and War,” Feb. 10-12 in Paris, France.

Bowen’s paper, “The Spanish Fuel Crisis during World War II: Magic Pellets, Gasogene and the Allies,” examines the struggles of Spain, a neutral nation, to ensure domestic oil supplies in World War II. 

The conference, organized by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research) in France, will include scholars from nine countries.  Bowen is one of only two academics from the United States invited to participate in the meeting, the proceedings of which will be published later this year.

Bowen was selected to present his paper by the conference organizers from scholars who applied to participate in the conference, in response to a request for proposals issued last June. 

“Given my past research on the economic history of World War II, and my teaching on the Middle East, where oil is a critical resource, I thought the conference would be useful and interesting,” Bowen said.  “I found out my paper had been accepted in October.”

According to Bowen, presenting at the Centre national de la Recherché Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research), the most prestigious research institution in France, and being an active participant in this international conference, will benefit his scholarship on European and Middle Eastern history.  Bowen also will be the only historian from a United States university on the program, alongside colleagues from eight other countries on four continents.  His inclusion in the program also support’s Southeast’s efforts to expand international participation by University faculty.

Bowen says the conference will examine chronological sequences such as world wars, decolonization and contemporary challenges as well as deal with geographical areas in which hydrocarbons have played or play a decisive role in locations such as the Middle East and the West Coast of Africa.

Conference organizers say today’s oil companies may find information from the meetings useful in determining their present positioning with respect to long-term changes and keys to a future to be marked by uncertainties of oil economics.

A final round table at the conference will pool experts from various backgrounds to discuss the topic of “War for Oil, Oil Wars,” Bowen said.