Historicizing the Oceans: New Scholars Discussion

"Cliff Ocean" by Dan Walk. Source: Flickr.

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In October the NiCHE New Scholars met to discuss borderlands and the ideas surrounding peace parks. Desiree A. Valadares led a lively discussion that examined the changing concept of peace parks and what that meant for people living in and around the proposed and legislated boundaries of those parks. Discussion participants were surprised to learn that in 1932 Waterton National Park in Alberta and Glacier National Park in Montana were designed as the first International Peace Park.

November’s NiCHE New Scholars discussion is going to focus on oceans and will be led by Michelle María Early Capistrán. As an introduction to the discussion she writes:

Oceans have often been thought of as ahistorical and ananthropic spaces, with an inscrutable and endless bounty waiting to be claimed. However, human impacts on marine ecosystems have caused population collapses of marine species long before the oceans became the subject of scientific scrutiny: archaeological and archival data shows broad-scale impacts on fishes, sea turtles, and marine mammals since the middle ages and antiquity in some cases. Marine environmental history has a key role in reconstructing past ocean conditions. Key questions for this discussion are:

  • How can history inform our understanding of current marine ecosystems?
  • What tools and resources are available to increase our understanding of past oceans (i.e. archives, maps, oral history, etc.)?

Recommended reading

The discussion will occur on Google Hangout November 27, 2015 at 11:00 am (central). If you are interested in participating please email Laura Larsen at l.triticum@gmail.com.

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Laura Larsen

Laura Larsen is a specialist in Western Canadian history with a particular focus on agriculture. She holds a PhD in history from the University of Saskatchewan. Her dissertation explores rail rationalization and agricultural policy under the Pierre Trudeau Liberal government.

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