Top Five Posts of 2017

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Every January, we like to highlight the most popular articles published on The Otter~La loutre in the past year. Our generous contributors are the heart and soul of this publication and we’re grateful that they choose The Otter~La loutre to share their insights, arguments, and thoughts with our community of environmental history and historical geography readers. Here are the articles you read the most in 2017:

#5 Tina Adcock, “Hope and Environmental History: An Introduction”

Tina Adcock kicked off a timely and intriguing series of posts on the theme of hope in environmental history. This was the subject of a panel at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History and later became a mini-series on The Otter~La loutre. The discussion around this issue inspired much conversation and debate among environmental historians and will continue in 2018.

#4 Carolyn Podruchny, “Walking Backwards with Bad Knees Through Land and History: Seven Lessons in Decolonizing”

Based on her experience at CHESS 2017, Carolyn Podruchny wrote about her challenges bringing Indigenous knowledge systems into university-based teaching of Indigenous-centred Indigenous histories. Podruchny co-organized CHESS 2017, which took participants through some of the Indigenous landscapes of southern Ontario. Readers can find all of the reflections on CHESS 2017 here.

#3 John Sandlos, “Environmental History, Conservation, and the Social Sciences”

The question kept coming up in 2017, what is the use of environmental history? In this article, John Sandlos tackled the question early last year with a look at environmental history, the social sciences, and conservation in the area of policy. His reflections were an extension of his remarks in a co-authored article in Biological Conservation.

#2 Adele Perry, “Water and the Infrastructure of Colonialism”

In reflecting on the continued lack of drinkable water on reserves in Canada, Adele Perry drew from her book Aqueduct: Colonialism, Resources, and the Histories We Remember (Winnipeg, ARP, 2016) to look at the long history of the relationship between natural resource exploitation and colonialism in Canada. As she concluded, “Colonialism is literally in our pipes, and promises cannot easily redirect that.”

#1 Isaac Green, “Dyeing to be Green: The Chicago River and St. Patrick’s Day”

Our most read article of 2017 examines Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities and the dyeing of the Chicago River. Since 1962, Isaac Green notes, Chicago has celebrated March 17th by turning the river green with dye. What have been the environmental consequences of this tradition? What does this practice tell us about attitudes toward nature? As many celebrated St. Partick’s Day last year, many of our readers learned more about this odd tradition and its deeper environmental implications thanks to Green’s excellent article, our most-read of 2017.

Thank you to all our 2017 contributors! If you want to share your writing with an audience of engaged readers with an interest in environmental history and historical geography, consider contributing to The Otter~La loutre in 2018. Maybe your work will make it into our top five next year.

For more on contributing to The Otter~La loutre Contributors’ Guidelines, see our .

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