Friday, 30 January 2015

Domains of Literature - Historical Geographies of Canada and Agricultural Colonialism

This is part of a series of posts related to the domains of literature I covered in my qualifying exam. I am sharing it in hopes that it helps other students creating their lists. Please see the introductory post in the series for more details.

The first domain, the historical geography of Canada and agricultural settler colonialism, provides the national and international contexts of the Farm. As stated above, the Farm played an important role in the Canadian colonial project within the wider British Empire and with the backdrop of the expansion of the United States to the south. This domain looks beyond historical geographies of Canada to include readings in the growing fields of settler colonial studies, environmental history, and envirotechnical history. Uncovering the connections between agriculture, the environment, science, technology, Aboriginal communities and settlers, these readings provide the basis for a critical understanding of the Farm’s place in Canada as well as Canada’s place in wider imperial and colonial narratives.

This post has two main parts:
(1) The domain itself; and,
(2) A syllabus created as a thought experience while studying the list.

The List


Alfred, Taiaiake, and Jeff Corntassel. 2005. “Being Indigenous: Resurgences against Contemporary Colonialism.” Government and Opposition 40 (4): 597–614.
Armstrong, Christopher, and H. V. Nelles. 2013. Wilderness and Waterpower: How Banff National Park Became a Hydroelectric Storage Reservoir. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.
Baldwin, Andrew, Laura Cameron, and Audrey Kobayashi, eds. 2011. Rethinking the Great White North: Race, Nature and the Historical Geographies of Whiteness in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Barker, Adam J. 2012. “Locating Settler Colonialism.” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 13 (3).
Beattie, James, Edward Melillo, and Emily O’Gorman. 2014. “Rethinking the British Empire through Eco-Cultural Networks: Materialist-Cultural Environment History, Relational Connections and Agency.” Environment and History 20: 561–75.
Bobrow-Strain, Aaron. 2008. “White bread bio-politics: purity, health, and the triumph of industrial baking.” Cultural Geographies 15 (1):19-40.
Bonnell, Jennifer. 2014. Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Campbell, Claire, ed. 2011. A Century of Parks Canada, 1911-2011. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.
Cronin, Keri. 2010. Manufacturing National Park Nature: Photography, Ecology, and the Wilderness Industry of Jasper. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Cronon, William. 1983. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England. New York: Hill and Wang.
———. 1991. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York: W. W. Norton.
———. 1996. “The Trouble with Wilderness: Or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature.” Environmental History 1 (1): 7–28.
Crosby, Alfred W. 2004. Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Daschuk, James W. 2013. Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life. Regina: University of Regina Press.
Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe. 2002. “Feeding the Giants: Food and Industrialization in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries” in Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food. New York: Free Press, 187-224.
Franklin, Adrian. 2006. “Burning Cities: A Posthumanist Account of Australians and Eucalypts.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24 (4): 555–76.
Fraser, Evan. 2003. “Social Vulnerability and Ecological Fragility: Building Bridges between Social and Natural Sciences Using the Irish Potato Famine as a Case Study.” Conservation Ecology 7 (2): 9. [online] URL: http://www.consecol.org/vol7/iss2/art9
Friedberg, Susanne. 2004. “Feeding the Nation: The Making of Modern Food Provisioning” in French Beans and Food Scares: Culture and Commerce in an Anxious Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 33-60.
Furniss, Elizabeth. 1999. The Burden of History: Colonialism and the Frontier Myth in a Rural Canadian Community. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Gardner, Robert. 2009. “Constructing a Technological Forest: Nature, Culture, and Tree-Planting in the Nebraska Sand Hills.” Environmental History 14 (2): 275–97.
Gordon, David L. A. 1998. “A City Beautiful Plan for Canada’s Capital: Edward Bennett and the 1915 Plan for Ottawa and Hull.” Planning Perspectives 13 (3): 275–300.
Gumprecht, Blake. 2001. “Transforming the Prairie: Early Tree Planting in an Oklahoma Town.” Historical Geography 29: 116–34.
Haig-Brown, Celia. 2010. “Indigenous Thought, Appropriation, and Non-Aboriginal People.” Canadian Journal of Education 33 (4): 925–50.
Harris, Cole. 2002. Making Native Space: Colonialism, Resistance and Reserves in British Columbia. Vancouver: UBC Press.
———. 2004. “How Did Colonialism Dispossess? Comments from an Edge of Empire” 94 (1): 165–82.
———. 2008. The Reluctant Land: Society, Space, and Environment in Canada before Confederation. Vancouver: UBC Press.
———. 2010. “The Spaces of Early Canada.” Canadian Historical Review 91 (4): 725–59.
Jacobs, Margaret D. 2009. White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.
Jørgensen, Dolly. 2014. “Not by Human Hands: Five Technological Tenets for Environmental History in the Anthropocene.” Environment and History 20 (4): 479–89.
Kheraj, Sean. 2013. Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. Vancouver: UBC Press.
MacEachern, Alan, and William J. Turkel, eds. 2008. Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History. Toronto: Nelson College Indigenous.
Macfarlane, Daniel. 2013. “‘A Completely Man-Made and Artificial Cataract’: The Transnational Manipulation of Niagara Falls.” Environmental History 18 (4): 759–84.
———. 2014. Negotiating a River: Canada, the US, and the Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway. UBC Press.
McKay, Ian. 2000. “The Liberal Order Framework: A Prospectus for a Reconnaissance of Canadian History.” The Canadian Historical Review 81 (4): 617–45.
McKee, Emily. 2013. “Performing Rootedness in the Negev/Naqab: Possibilities and Perils of Competitive Planting: Performing Rootedness.” Antipode, March, 1–18.
Merchant, Carolyn. 1989. Ecological Revolutions: Nature, Gender, and Science in New England. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
Nelles, H. V. 1999. The Art of Nation-Building: Pageantry and Spectacle at Quebec’s Tercentenary. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Nye, David E. 1994. American Technological Sublime. Cambridge, Mass. ; London: MIT Press.
Parr, Joy. 2010. Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953-2003. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Perry, Adele. 2001. On the Edge of Empire: Gender, Race, and the Making of British Columbia, 1849-1871. Toronto, ON, CAN: University of Toronto Press.
Piper, Liza, and John Sandlos. 2007. “A Broken Frontier: Ecological Imperialism in the Canadian North.” Environmental History 12 (4): 759–95.
Raibmon, Paige. 2009. “Unmaking Native Space: A Genealogy of Indian Policy, Settler Practice, and the Microtechniques of Dispossession.” In The Power of Promises: Rethinking Indian Treaties in the Pacific Northwest, edited by Alexandra Harmon, 56–85. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Regan, Paulette. 2010. Unsettling the Settler within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Reuss, Martin, and Stephen H. Cutcliffe, eds. 2010. The Illusory Boundary: Environment and Technology in History. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.
Russell, Peter A. 2012. How Agriculture Made Canada: Farming in the Nineteenth Century. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Smithers, Gregory D., and Brooke N. Newman. 2014. Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.
Stanley, Timothy. 2000. “Why I Killed Canadian History: Towards an Anti-Racist History in Canada.” Historie Sociale/Social History 33 (65): 79–103.
Steffen, Will, Jacques Grinevald, Paul Crutzen, and John McNeill. 2011. “The Anthropocene: Conceptual and Historical Perspectives.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 369 (1938): 842–67.
Stine, Jeffrey K., and Joel A. Tarr. 1998. “At the Intersection of Histories: Technology and the Environment.” Technology and Culture 39 (4): 601–40.
Whitehead, Mark. 2014. Environmental Transformations : A Geography of the Anthropocene. Florence, Kentucky: Routledge.
Williams, Raymond. 1973. The Country and the City. London: Chatto and Windus.
Wolfe, Patrick. 2006. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” Journal of Genocide Research 8 (4): 387–409.
Wood, J. David. 2000. Making Ontario: Agricultural Colonization and Landscape Recreation before the Railroad. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Worster, Donald. 1985. Nature’s Economy: History of Ecological Ideas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The Syllabus


Historical Geographies of Canada and Agricultural Settler Colonialism
GPHY 3XX

Peter Anderson
Office Hours: Tuesdays 3-4pm or by appointment
Lectures: Tuesdays and Thursday 1-2:30pm

Outline

This course explores the historical geographies of Canada and other agricultural settler-colonial societies. It challenges dominant narratives, opens spaces of resistance and collaboration, and explores multi-scalar networks. While our focus is primarily on the Canadian experience, we look beyond historical geographies of Canada to include readings in the growing fields of settler colonial studies, environmental history, and enviro-technical history. Uncovering the connections between agriculture, the environment, science, technology, Aboriginal communities and settlers, this course provides the basis for a critical understanding of Canada as well as Canada’s place in wider imperial and colonial narratives.

Assessments and Late Policy

Progress in this course consists of six assessments. Unless otherwise noted, assessments are due in class at the beginning of Thursday’s lectures:

1.     Presentation Notes (throughout) – 10%
2.     Critical Reading and Listening Reflection (Week 4) – 10%
3.     Term Paper Proposal (Week 6) – 10%
4.     Placing Kingston Archival Assignment (Week 8) – 10%
5.     Term Paper (Week 11) – 30%
6.     Essay-style Exam (Exam period TBD) – 30%

Late assignments are subject to the department’s standard penalty. Extensions will only be made with proper documentation.

1. Presentation Notes (10%)
Every student will be assigned one-to-two readings to prepare a short (2-3 minute) presentation and research notes for. Students must also provide one power point slide. As more than one student will be assigned to each day, not everyone will have a chance to present. Grades are based on the student’s notes and slide content.
Slides must be submitted by 5pm on the Sunday before the student’s assigned day and presentation notes are due at the end of the lecture on the student’s assigned day.

2. Critical Reading and Listening Reflection – Week 4 (10%)
Students are asked to listen to Gordon Lightfoot’s “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” and Willie Dunn’s “Ballad of the Crowfoot” and provide a short, 2-3 page, reflection on the two songs and their relation to readings for weeks 1 through 4.

3. Term Paper Proposal – Week 6 (10%)
Students are to choose a topic based on course themes and write a term paper proposal. The proposal will be no more than 3 pages in length, inclusive of its preliminary bibliography. The first page will describe the chosen topic and research questions. The remaining pages will present an annotated bibliography containing at least 5 scholarly journal articles or book chapters (no more than 2 from course readings). Annotations should demonstrate the relation of the source to the topic and research question.

4. Placing Kingston Archival Assignment – Week 8 (10%)
Students will pick a location in Kingston and write a critical reflection on its development over time. Suggested sites include the skyscape of Bagot and West Street, Fort Frontenac, the dry docks of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes, and Summerhill. More details will be announced in week 6 during the Archives workshop.

5. Term Paper – Week 11 (30%)
Building on the research topic and question approved in the term paper proposal, students will prepare a 12-15 page research paper. Grades will be based on the depth of research, strength of argument and the student’s ability as a writer.

6. Essay-style Exam – TBD (30%)
Students will sit a 3 hour essay-style exam, answering two short answer questions (of 5) and one long answer question (of 3) based on course themes and readings.

Topics and Readings

Note: There is no textbook for this course. All readings are available through the library’s catalogue or the course’s Moodle page.

Week 1: Introduction and Definitions
·      Tuesday – Introduction
o   No readings.
·      Thursday – Defining Colonialism
o   Barker, Adam J. 2012. “Locating Settler Colonialism.” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 13 (3).
o   Harris, Cole. 2008. The Reluctant Land: Society, Space, and Environment in Canada before Confederation. Vancouver: UBC Press. Introduction only.
o   Wolfe, Patrick. 2006. “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native.” Journal of Genocide Research 8 (4): 387–409.

Week 2: Environments and Technologies
·      Tuesday – Defining Environments
o   Wynne, Graham in MacEachern, Alan, and William J. Turkel, eds. 2008. Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History. Toronto: Nelson College Indigenous.
o   Worster in MacEachern and Turkel (see above).
·      Thursday – Defining Technologies
o   Part 1 (Williams, Parr and Caotes) in Reuss, Martin, and Stephen H. Cutcliffe, eds. 2010. The Illusory Boundary: Environment and Technology in History. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Week 3: Neo-Europes and Ecological Revolutions
·      Tuesday – Foundational Texts
o   Merchant, Carolyn. 1989. Ecological Revolutions: Nature, Gender, and Science in New England. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Introduction only.
o   Worster, Donald. 1985. Nature’s Economy: History of Ecological Ideas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Introduction only.
·      Thursday – New interpretations
o   Piper, Liza, and John Sandlos. 2007. “A Broken Frontier: Ecological Imperialism in the Canadian North.” Environmental History 12 (4): 759–95.
o   Beattie, James, Edward Melillo, and Emily O’Gorman. 2014. “Rethinking the British Empire through Eco-Cultural Networks: Materialist-Cultural Environment History, Relational Connections and Agency.” Environment and History 20: 561–75.

Week 4: Canada?
·      Tuesday – Thinking about metanarratives
o   Harris, Cole. 2010. “The Spaces of Early Canada.” Canadian Historical Review 91 (4): 725–59.
o   Russell, Peter A. 2012. How Agriculture Made Canada: Farming in the Nineteenth Century. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
·      Thursday – Challenging metanarratives *Reflection due in class*
o   McKay, Ian. 2000. “The Liberal Order Framework: A Prospectus for a Reconnaissance of Canadian History.” The Canadian Historical Review 81 (4): 617–45.
o   Stanley, Timothy. 2000. “Why I Killed Canadian History: Towards an Anti-Racist History in Canada.” Historie Sociale/Social History 33 (65): 79–103.
Week 5: Regions in Canada
·      Tuesday – British Columbia
o   Harris, Cole. 2004. “How Did Colonialism Dispossess? Comments from an Edge of Empire” 94 (1): 165–82.
o   Harriss, Cole. 2008. The Reluctant Land: Society, Space, and Environment in Canada before Confederation. Vancouver: UBC Press. Chapter 11 only.
o   Perry, Adele. 2001. On the Edge of Empire: Gender, Race, and the Making of British Columbia, 1849-1871. Toronto, ON, CAN: University of Toronto Press. Introduction and Chapter 4 only.
·      Thursday – Ontario
o   McDonnell in Smithers, Gregory D., and Brooke N. Newman. 2014. Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.
o   Wood, J. David. 2000. Making Ontario: Agricultural Colonization and Landscape Recreation before the Railroad. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Chapters 1 and 2 only.
o   Bonnell, Jennifer. 2014. Reclaiming the Don: An Environmental History of Toronto’s Don River Valley. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Introduction and Chapter 1.

Week 6: Performing Rootedness in Agricultural Colonies
·      Tuesday – Performing Rootedness in Australia, the American West, the Negev Desert
o   Franklin, Adrian. 2006. “Burning Cities: A Posthumanist Account of Australians and Eucalypts.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24 (4): 555–76.
o   Gardner, Robert. 2009. “Constructing a Technological Forest: Nature, Culture, and Tree-Planting in the Nebraska Sand Hills.” Environmental History 14 (2): 275–97.
o   Gumprecht, Blake. 2001. “Transforming the Prairie: Early Tree Planting in an Oklahoma Town.” Historical Geography 29: 116–34.
o   McKee, Emily. 2013. “Performing Rootedness in the Negev/Naqab: Possibilities and Perils of Competitive Planting: Performing Rootedness.” Antipode, March, 1–18.
·      Thursday – Archives Workshop and ‘Placing Kingston’ *Proposal due in class*
o   Jørgensen, Dolly. 2014. “Not by Human Hands: Five Technological Tenets for Environmental History in the Anthropocene.” Environment and History 20 (4): 479–89.

Week 7: Placing high modern infrastructure
·      Tuesday – High modern sublimes
o   Macfarlane, Daniel. 2013. “‘A Completely Man-Made and Artificial Cataract’: The Transnational Manipulation of Niagara Falls.” Environmental History 18 (4): 759–84.
o   Nye, David E. 1994. American Technological Sublime. Cambridge, Mass. ; London: MIT Press. Chapter 4 only.
·      Thursday – Embodying changes
o   Parr, Joy. 2010. Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953-2003. Vancouver: UBC Press. Introduction and Chapters 4 & 5 only.

Week 8: Agriculture versus Food
·      Tuesday  - Agriculture
o   Cronon, William. 1991. Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West. New York: W. W. Norton. Chapter 3 only.
o   Wood, J. David. 2000. Making Ontario: Agricultural Colonization and Landscape Recreation before the Railroad. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press. Chapter 5 only.
·      Thursday – Food *Placing Kingston due in class*
o   Vilveis in Reuss, Martin, and Stephen H. Cutcliffe, eds. 2010. The Illusory Boundary: Environment and Technology in History. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.
o   Bobrow-Strain, Aaron. 2008. “White bread bio-politics: purity, health, and the triumph of industrial baking.” Cultural Geographies 15 (1):19-40.

Week 9: Historical Geographies of Parks
·      Tuesday – Wilderness?
o   Cronon, William. 1996. “The Trouble with Wilderness: Or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature.” Environmental History 1 (1): 7–28.
o   Campbell, Claire, ed. 2011. A Century of Parks Canada, 1911-2011. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.  Introduction only.
·      Thursday – De-peopling parks
o   Kheraj, Sean. 2013. Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. Vancouver: UBC Press. Introduction and chapter 1 only.
o   Thorpe in Baldwin, Andrew, Laura Cameron, and Audrey Kobayashi, eds. 2011. Rethinking the Great White North: Race, Nature and the Historical Geographies of Whiteness in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Week 10: Geographies of Elimination
·      Tuesday – Disease, Hunger, and Schools as Tools of Elimination.
o   Daschuk, James W. 2013. Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life. Regina: University of Regina Press. Chapters 7, 8 and 9 only.
o   Jacobs, Margaret D. 2009. White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. Introduction only.
·      Thursday – Contemporary geographies of racism
o   Furniss, Elizabeth. 1999. The Burden of History: Colonialism and the Frontier Myth in a Rural Canadian Community. Vancouver: UBC Press.  Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5 only.

Week 11: Geographies of Resistance
·      Tuesday – Words from/for Settlers
o   Regan, Paulette. 2010. Unsettling the Settler within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press. Introduction and passim.
o   Haig-Brown, Celia. 2010. “Indigenous Thought, Appropriation, and Non-Aboriginal People.” Canadian Journal of Education 33 (4): 925–50.
·      Thursday – Indigenous responses *Term paper due in class*
o   Alfred, Taiaiake, and Jeff Corntassel. 2005. “Being Indigenous: Resurgences against Contemporary Colonialism.” Government and Opposition 40 (4): 597–614.
o   Smithers in Smithers, Gregory D., and Brooke N. Newman. 2014. Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.

Week 12: Looking Forward and Final Words
·      Tuesday – Reading Kingston Walking Tour
o   No readings—note the walking tour is rain or shine so dress appropriately.
·      Thursday – Exam Review
o   No readings.

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