BookLook 2013

BookLook 2013

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BookLook 2013 Titles
BookLook 2013 Titles

Last year, I wrote about the historical geography / environmental history titles I saw while trolling the book fair at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. I’m not making it to Congress this year, but the books, they keep on a’comin’. Here are some published since BookLook 2012 to keep an eye out for. That is, for which you should keep an eye out. Or rather, for which you should keep out an eye. A preposition is not something to end a sentence with.

Start at the UBC Press table: the Nature/History/Society series celebrates its 20th title this year. Having heard Darcy Ingram at the ASEH offer a distinct take on early Canadian environmentalism, I’m especially interested in reading Wildlife, Conservation, and Conflict in Quebec, 1840-1914. But I also look forward to Sean Kheraj’s Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History, because I know him well, and Caroline Desbiens’ Power from the North: Territory, Identity, and the Culture of Hydroelectricity in Quebec, because I don’t know her well. UBC also has geographer Bruce Erickson’s Canoe Nation: Nature, Race, and the Making of a Canadian Iconcoming out this month, and the collection Social Transformation in Rural Canada has a clear historical component.

The other two of the big three Canadian university presses, Toronto and McGill-Queen’s, have to date largely given over the environmental history / historical geography field to UBC. But McGill-Queen’s has launched its Rural, Wildland, and Resource Studies series this year with Peter A. Russell’s How Agriculture Made Canada: Farming in the Nineteenth Century. And Toronto has The Oak Ridges Moraine Battles: Development, Sprawl, and Nature Conservation in the Toronto Region by Anders Sandberg, Gerda Wekerle, and Liette Gilbert coming out.

Much more is happening at some of the smaller presses. NiCHE supports the Canadian History & Environment series at University of Calgary Press; alas, there are no new titles in the series this season. But I promise that Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin’s edited Historical GIS Research in Canadawill be a great stocking stuffer come Christmas. (While waiting at the Calgary table, test drive Christopher Armstrong and HV Nelles’ Wilderness and Waterpower: How Banff National Park Became a Hydroelectric Storage Reservoir.) Wilfrid Laurier Press has also embraced environmental titles, and has a vibrant Environmental Humanities series developing. This fall will see the release of Sustaining the West: Cultural Responses to Western Environments, Past and Present, edited by Liza Piper and Lisa Szabo-Jones. (Map Worlds: A History of Women in Cartography, by Will. C. van den Hoonaard, also looks interesting.) And this spring Acadiensis Press published the NiCHE-supported collection Land and Sea: Environmental History in Atlantic Canada, edited by Claire E. Campbell and Robert Summerby-Murray. Full disclosure: I have a chapter in it. Fuller disclosure: It’s still good.

And don’t forget Andrew Nikiforuk, author of The Energy of Slaves … and Tar Sands …and Empire of the Beetle …and lot’s more. Environmentally-minded, historically-minded, politically-minded, Canadian, read. He’s a real source of inspiration and envy for me these days.

Cigars for all the proud parents of these books. I look forward to reading, researching, and teaching from all of you. Have I forgotten anyone? Undoubtedly. Email me with more titles, or add them via the Comments below.

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I am the author of Becoming Green Gables (spring 2024), The Summer Trade (with Edward MacDonald, 2022), & The Miramichi Fire (2020), & the editor of the print/open-access Canadian History & Environment series at University of Calgary Press. I was Director of NiCHE, 2004-15. Contact me at


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