9781138484375The Rhetoric of Oil in the 21st Century: examines mass communication and civic participation in the age of oil, analyzing the rhetorical and discursive ways that governments and corporations shape public opinion and public policy and activists attempt to reframe public debates to resist corporate framing.

You will find my chapter “Still Ethical Oil: Framing the Alberta Oil Sands” in the section titled “A Closer Look at the Oil Sands of Alberta.” I spent the summer of 2016 writing that chapter. Every day, I was a fixture at the Jasper Public Library, sucking off their internet connection. Three years and many edits later, the work has finally paid off. Here it is available on the Routledge Taylor & Francis website. This feels like a fairly largish accomplishment. I’m one of the few authors who is not a phd, and honestly, I didn’t know what I was doing half the time. But now I’m just so excited to be a part of this important ground-breaking publication.

Here’s more info on the publication: In the twenty-first century, oil has become a subject of civic deliberation. Environmental concerns have intensified, questions of indigenous rights have arisen, and private and public investment in energy companies has become open to deliberation. International contributors use local events as a starting point to explore larger issues associated with oil-dependent societies and cultures. This interdisciplinary collection synthesizes work in the energy humanities, rhetorical studies and environmental studies to analyze the global discourse of oil from the start of the twentieth century into the era of transnational corporations of the 21st century.

This book will be a vital text for scholars in communication studies, the energy humanities and in environmental studies. Case studies are framed accessibly, and the theoretical lenses are accessible across disciplines, making it ideal for a post-graduate andadvanced undergraduate audience in these fields.


In November 2015, the University of Alberta Press released my book, Weaving a Malawi Sunrise.


One woman’s determination to educate Malawian girls and change the future of a nation.

“When you educate a girl, you educate a nation.” —Malawian saying

The women of Malawi, like many other women in developing countries, struggle to find their way out of poverty and build a better life for themselves and their families. Weaving a Malawi Sunrise tells the story of Memory Chazeza’s quest to get an education and to build
a school for young women.

Roberta Laurie was one of many who helped Memory realize her vision of seeing young girls become strong and independent women who could care for themselves and their future families. During her time in Malawi, Laurie met several other women, each of whom had a story of her own. Laurie interweaves these accounts with well-researched information about the country’s underlying social and political context.

Readers interested in Africa, global affairs, women’s studies, development, and international education will give high marks to Weaving a Malawi Sunrise.

Weaving a Malawi Sunrise is available for purchase through the University of Alberta Press, Chapters/Indigo, and If you’re in Edmonton, Alberta, Audrey’s Books has signed copies in their store.


If you are in the Edmonton area, I will come to speak at your book club, Rotary Club, school, library, or service club. Email me for details:



“Roberta Laurie, a former Rotarian, has written a book that is both heart warming and sobering. On the one hand, we read about young women experiencing life changing educational success. On the other hand, we read about the challenges girls and women experience in rural Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world…. [The book] portrays the development of a courageous, visionary leader…. In addition, the book is rich with the history, culture, geography, and politics of Malawi. This material is deftly presented as the context for the development of [the school]…. The emphasis on the stories of Memory, Christie, and the students move the narrative forward and capture and hold readers’ interest.” [Full article at

Dean Wood, ClubRunner

“Most everyone has a place that inspires reflection and contentment: a Paris café, a salmon run on the Miramichi River, your grandmother’s kitchen table. Roberta Laurie is an Alberta Rotarian who finds her place at a Malawian school for girls. The result is intriguing and joyful. “Weaving A Malawi Sunrise” never patronizes. Laurie is a delightful writer…. “Weaving A Malawi Sunrise” is kind and eloquent, by turn angry and evocative…” [Full article at]

Holly Doan, Blacklock’s Reporter

“…very highly recommended for academic library Contemporary African Studies reference collections…”

Julie Summers, Reviewer’s Bookwatch

“Laurie’s moving book about gender and education in Malawi chronicles the construction of a girls’ school through the heroic efforts of educator Memory Chazeza and her Canadian collaborators (including the author). The book’s chapters alternate between stories of women the author met in Malawi while working alongside Chazeza, vignettes from Chazeza’s life, and essential sociopolitical context about Malawi. With a gripping narrative and touching personal stories, the book is very accessible… Summing Up: Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates.” [Full review at]

C. Pinto, Choice Magazine

“Your skillful blending of historical background and personal stories made for enlightening and inspirational reading. Of course, I especially appreciated learning of Memory’s long, heartbreaking and ultimately successful journey, and the accounts of many other young women associated with APU.”


INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards / Foreword Reviews, United States



Watch the In Their Own Words Trailer.


2 Comments on “Books

  1. Pingback: Weaving a Malawi Sunrise | Roberta Laurie

  2. Pingback: What Writers are Reading: A Third Verb Summer Reading List – THIRD VERB

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