In the Autumn of 1975, Canada played a pivotal role in the fostering of international conversations amongst historical geographers.
The 1975 British-Canadian Symposium on Historical Geography held at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, was the first in a series of international conferences that led to the creation of the International Conference of Historical Geographers (ICHG). The 14th ICHG in 2009 was hosted in the city of Kyoto, the 15th and most recent ICHG took place in Prague in August 2012: the next meeting will be held in London in 2015. The theme of the three day 1975 Kingston Symposium was ‘The Settlement of Canada: Origins and Transfer’ and though it was aimed at fostering connections between Canadian and British geographers, a number of American geographers participated as well.
A recent NiCHE event, Water, Fish & Fowl: The Translocal Ecologies Mobile Workship—also held in Kingston—prompted reflections on the practices of historical geography and the 1975 meeting. Much has changed in the last forty years and yet we are still engaged with some of the concerns of that 1975 gathering. For instance, we find in the 1975 Proceedings the argument “that many of the significant questions facing Canadian historical geography transcend national boundaries and can best be approached in a continental or even a worldwide setting.” The abstract of the late Frank Innes states that “Geographers have increasingly, in these days of ecological crisis, become aware of the ethical and attitudinal underpinnings of societies.”
A view of Kingston from the Wolfe Island ferry. Photo courtesy of Thomas McIlwraith
Transnational Ecologies has begun collecting images and memories concerning this historically significant event. Thomas McIlwraith, NiCHE member and professor emeritus of historical geography at the University of Toronto Mississauga attended the Symposium and has several remarkable images of the event in his slide collection. With his permission, we feature two of them here, a group photograph and a view of Kingston from the Wolfe Island ferry. Participants had the opportunity to take local fieldtrips, one involving the waterscape of Lake Ontario. We are grateful to Thomas McIlwraith and to Brian Osborne (organizer of the 1975 Symposium), Peter Goheen, David Wood, Robin Butlin, Alan Baker, Anne Mosher, Len Guelke, Jock Galloway and Richard Dennis for their kind assistance in identifying the Symposium members in the group photograph. If you can help identify the remaining few without names in the back rows, please send a note to Laura at email@example.com or Kirsten at K.Greer@warwick.ac.uk
Laura Cameron is Associate Professor of Geography at Queen's University, leader of the Transnational Ecologies Project, and part of the NiCHE executive.
Kirsten Greer is SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Warwick, U.K. and Coordinator of the Transnational Ecologies Project.
Group Photograph, 1975 British-Canadian Symposium on Historical Geography, Kingston ON.
Photographer: Thomas F. McIlwraith
Front row L-R
1. David Wood
2. Louis Gentilcore
3. Pat Thornton
4. Graeme Whittington
5. Heather Fuller
6. Jim Lemon
7. Peter Goheen
8. Michael Conzen
9. Frank Innes
Second row L-R
10. Stuart Raby
12. Hugh Prince
13. Paul Koroscil
14. Bruce Proudfoot
15. Grant Head
16. C.F.J. ‘Chuck’ Whebel
17. Hans-George Schlichtmann
Third row L-R
18. George Sitwell
19. Ralph Vicero
20. Aidan McQuillan
21. Ian Adams
23. Robin Butlin
24. Tony Phillips
Fourth row L-R
25. Ken Kelly
26. Jock Galloway
27. Robin Holmes
28. John Radford
29. R. Cole Harris
30. David Knight
31. Len Guelke
32. Peter Ennals
33. Derek Gregory
34. Alan Baker
35. Richard Dennis
36. David Ward
Back row L-R
37. Eric Ross
38. Deryck Holdsworth
39. Robert S. Dilley
41. Peter Rees?
43. Hugh Clout?
44. Larry McCann
46. Brian Osborne
47. Victor Conrad
48. Brian Harley
49. Alan Brunger
51. Paul Laxton
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson's enormously influential book 'Silent Spring'.
On the 26th of October, a group of graduate student geographers studying in Canada ventured south to explore and reassess some of Rachel Carson’s themes in a weekend workshop entitled 'Techno-natures: The Syracuse/Queen’s/Cornell Geography & History Graduate Exchange'. See the story here: http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/news/archives/2012/exchange.html
On the 30th of October 2011, Water, Fish and Fowl: the Translocal Ecologies Mobile Workship set out on Lake Ontario to engage with issues of mobility, nature, history and knowledge. On the journey, each participant brought along an object and a story. Check out the participants's stories, keynotes by Dean Bavington and Robert Wilson, and video records of the workship in the Translocal Ecologies Workship Compendium.
The Codex Canadensis (ca. 1700), the fantastically and exquisitely illustrated natural history by the Jesuit priest Louis Nicolas, provides a fascinating early glimpse into the way both ‘natures’ and environmental knowledges move. On the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius, a bird extinct since the early 20th century), Nicolas wrote: “Oumimi, or ourité or pigeon. It is seen in such great quantities at the first passage in spring and in autumn that it is unbelievable unless one has seen it.” Recently, the Codex Canadensis has been reproduced in a number of different forms. Library and Archives Canada in partnership with the Gilcrease Museum and the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art, has presented a virtual exhibition. McGill-Queen’s University Press has recently published Nicolas’s Codex Canadensis together with The Natural History of the New World in one beautifully produced and weighty volume. And textile artist Heather Cameron is currently embroidering images from the Codex Canadensis and is documenting the process and her thoughts about it on her blog: True Stitches
The Flying University of Transnational Humanities (FUTH) is an annual summer school for graduate students and young scholars interested in the transnational paradigm of humanistic inquiry. FUTH takes its name and immediate inspiration from Poland's Flying University, an underground institution that offered an alternative education outside the confines of state control and government censorship. The program is particularly concerned with developing critical understandings that resist the ideological and conceptual hegemony of the nation-state and the epistemological and hermeneutic conventions that support it. This does not mean that FUTH seeks to dispense with the "national" and construct a reified "transnational" with which to replace it, or to foster "transnationalism" as an ideological alternative to "nationalism." Rather, FUTH aims to free our imaginations from essentialist approaches to the nation or the state and to offer new ways of thinking about the political, social and cultural order of the world, both past and present.
The Flying University of Transnational Humanities is accordingly:
*-** Trans-cultural:** *FUTH not only critically examines the production and circulation of (trans-)national knowledge and culture, but it also problematizes imagined geographies of the "East" and the "West." We explore periods, places, and subjects as fluid and hybrid, rather than as confined and constrained by geopolitical or cultural boundaries.
*-** Trans-disciplinary:* FUTH seeks to comprehend the complex nature of various trans-cultural issues through trans-disciplinary approaches. To that end, FUTH is open to scholars, educators, researchers and students from all academic specializations.
*-** Trans-institutional:* FUTH is an intellectual network, founded and run by a global consortium of scholars, departments, and institutions. With the support of this network, we hope to facilitate trans-cultural and trans-disciplinary collaborations.
Started in 2010, the Flying University of Transnational Humanities is organized annually-usually in the summer-by the Research Institute of Comparative History and Culture (RICH), Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea.
FUTH consists of a series of advanced lectures, student presentations and feedback sessions where renowned scholars from RICH's partner and other institutions are invited to share their knowledge, insights and perspectives. Student participants are required to study the recommended readings in advance. They are also expected to present their own scholarly work related to the theme of each year. The official language of FUTH is English, although the possibility of trans-lingual practices is being considered. Graduate students and recent PhDs interested in the transnational turn in the humanities and social sciences are welcome to apply with a presentation proposal.
The overarching theme for the first three years (2010-2012) is "borders."
There have been numerous studies on how borders are constructed, negotiated, and policed and how they are simultaneously transgressed, challenged, and renegotiated. Borders are no longer seen simply as physical divisions but as discursive practices and cultural institutions. However, the multiplicity and hybridity of borders (e.g., national, cultural, geographical, gender, political, economic, *etc*.), as well as their transnational scalability (e.g., local, national, supranational, global, * etc*.), have yet to be intensively investigated. To address this gap, the first FUTH "Regions and Regionalization" in 2010 examined regions as sites of bordering practices and processes. In 2011, the second FUTH "Border-crossing Self" extended the scope of discussion to explore the ways in which the construction and performance of subjectivities and identities are connected to the demarcation and transgression of borders.
The third FUTH will take place at Hanyang University, July 15-18, 2012, under the title of "Borders of Knowledge." As numerous empirical studies in intellectual history, sociology of knowledge, and history/sociology/anthropology of the social, human, and natural sciences have convincingly demonstrated for several decades, the production, dissemination and use of knowledge, though seemingly universal, are always embedded in specific social, cultural, and historical contexts. Often, the subject, the object and the modus operandi of knowledge are defined, construed, and constrained by (national) borders. Knowledge and its associated practices thus shaped may in turn reinforce, reproduce or redefine those very borders. How then, does knowledge travel across borders? Rather than following the naïve modernist assumption that knowledge is spread because it is true and/or is channeled through universally transferable methodical practices, one should approach the travels of knowledge as themselves explananda rather than merely explanans for other phenomena. For instance, one may ask, what are the ways in which locally-produced knowledge is translated, adapted, appropriated, or contested in different local contexts? By the same token, one may also ask, how does knowledge, despite its local origins, come to acquire a proclaimed universality or globality? With such questions as a basis, the third FUTH in 2012 aims to provide graduate students and young scholars with a unique opportunity to critically examine the making and unmaking of the borders of knowledge-including the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and other forms of knowledge.
*Lecturers *(surname-alphabetical order)**
*.** Alice L. Conklin* (Department of History, Ohio State University,
*.** Christian Fleck* (Department of Sociology, University of Graz,
*. **Sari Hanafi* (Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, American University of Beirut, Lebanon)
*.** Johan Heilbron* (Centre Européen de Sociologie et de Science Politique de la Sorbonne, France / Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
*.** Michael Kim* (Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University, Korea)
- And other lecturers will be announced soon.
*Eligibility / How to Apply*
FUTH 2012 welcomes applications from graduate students as well as recent PhDs of all fields who are interested in the transnational paradigm of humanistic inquiry and also currently conducting research on topics related to the theme of the making and unmaking of borders of knowledge. All student participants are expected to give a full paper presentation on their own scholarly work.
Applicants should fill out the form on our website (
http://www.rich.ac/eng/fly/apply.php) and send it as attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org along with their CV, research statement and an abstract of proposed presentation. *The deadline for applications is March 16, 2012*.
*Costs / Accommodation *
There is a registration fee of USD 80. While accommodation including breakfast and lunch will be provided, participants are expected to arrange their own funding for travel and daily living expenses. Partial travel grants may be awarded to a limited number of applicants.
*For further details, please contact: *
Research Institute of Comparative History and Culture
College of Humanities, Hanyang University
Seoul 133-791, Korea