2023: NiCHE’s Year in Images and Multimedia

Scroll this

2023 was NiCHE’s sixth year on Instagram. Managing our Instagram account is a lot different from our other social media accounts. A focus on the visual and, to a lesser extent, audio aspects of our site’s content leads to new and unique aspects of the material coming to the forefront. It also leads to a different kind of engagement with our readers and followers and draws new people into environmental history content.

Our “Top Nine” on Instagram is more than a statistical analysis of our digital popularity; it is an indication of the topics and images that resounded the most with our audience and a chance to look back on the past year. Here are our nine most-popular images from 2023:

#9: A Reel Featuring a Quote from “Corpsecologies”

This is the first time that a reel or other video has made our top posts! This reel features our editorial pick for September, “Corpsecologies: Land Rights & the Colonization of Corpses” by Jessica Elkaim. Our editor-in-chief, Jessica DeWitt, provided a voiceover reading of a quote from Elkaim’s piece that highlights her critique of the contemporary green burial movement.

#8: Mountain Range in Tr’ondëk-Klondike

This photo of a Mountain Range in Tr’ondëk-Klondike was the feature image for Emily Witherow’s article, ” Storying Tr’ondëk-Klondike: Disrupting Settler Colonial Narratives Through UNESCO Designation.”

When I first traveled to the Yukon Territory to conduct research for my master’s thesis, I realized that its physical and cultural landscapes are indelibly marked by the Klondike Gold Rush (1896-1899). As I drove through active placer mines, historic goldfields, and century-old tailings piles – worm-like mountains of waste rock left behind by the dredges that consumed entire riverbeds in search of gold – an environmental history of Klondike mining unfolded before my eyes.

Emily Witherow
Mountain Range in Tr’ondëk-Klondike

#7: Cover of Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton

Heather Green recommended Kate Beaton’s Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands for our “NiCHE Editors’ Year-End Reading List 2023.” We also featured Ducks in a new book post back in November 2022.

Kate Beaton’s graphic novel, Ducks, is a personal memoir of east coast migration to the Alberta oil sands in attempts for economic advancement. Beaton’s novel visually captures the landscapes of the oil rush – heavy machinery, tailings ponds, boreal forest, and wildlife – while also capturing the social and cultural interactions and conflicts of life, as a woman, throughout her two years working in oil. 

Heather Green
Cover of Ducks by Kate Beaton

#6: Marianne North’s Curious Plants from the Forest of Matang, Sarawak, Borneo, 1876

This piece of nineteenth century botanical art by Marianne North was the feature image for Apala Bhowmick’s “‘The Tropics are Topical’: History of Science, Literary Dialogue, and Reading the Ecological in a Rhetoric Classroom,” in which she shared her experience teaching two environmental humanities courses at Emory University.

A painting called Curious Plants from the Forest of Matang, Sarawak, Borneo (1876) by Marianne North.

#5: Cover of Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq

The cover of Tanya Tagaq’s Split Tooth was featured in “Looking With and Beyond the Words in Tanya Tagaq’s Split Tooth” by Svenja Engelmann-Kewitz, which was part of our Visual Cultures of the Circumpolar North series.

In Split Tooth, Tanya Tagaq thereby creates a nuanced picture of the landscape of the Canadian High North as both a cultural visualization and a case-in-point textual example for a powerful blend of media and modes of writing, visualizing, and imagining.

Svenja Engelmann-Kewitz
Cover of Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq

#4: An Excerpt from “Queering Ecofeminism”

Asmae Ourkiya’s 2020 piece, “Queering Ecofeminism: Towards an Anti-Far-Right Environmentalism,” continues to be very popular and is currently our seventh most-read post of all time! This post on our Instagram highlighted a specific excerpt from the piece that explains how systems of oppression are interconnected.

#3: Cover of The Weight of Gold: Mining and the Environment in Ontario, Canada, 1909-1929

Mica Jorgenson’s book, The Weight of Gold, was another one of Heather Green’s recommendations on our “NiCHE Editors’ Year-End Reading List 2023“! As I noted on Instagram, I used am excited to see Mica’s book get some well-deserved hype, and I cited it in a forthcoming web exhibit that should be out this year.

Jorgenson explores the mining history of Ontario and the province’s rise to prominence in the global gold industry. Of particular interest to environmental history readers is the authors’ attention to the environmental disasters that resulted from widespread extraction in this region and the unequal distribution of environmental harms and burdens on surrounding communities. 

Heather Green
Cover of Weight of Gold by Mica Jorgenson

#2: DeWitt Modeling NiCHE Merchandise

In case you didn’t hear, we released our first collection of NiCHE merchandise this past November for our annual fundraising campaign. In this photo, I am modeling the t-shirt featuring our Editorial Team member, Nicole Miller’s design. This was an experiment, and it went well! So keep an eye out for 20th Year NiCHE Merchandise later this year!!

Jessica DeWitt, a white woman with long blond hair, models a cream-coloured t-shirt with a black radial design featuring the NiCHE logo

#1: Cover of I Will Live for Both of Us: A History of Colonialism, Uranium Mining, and Inuit Resistance

Back in July, Andrea Procter reviewed I Will Live for Both of Us: A History of Colonialism, Uranium Mining, and Inuit Resistance by Joan Scottie, Warren Bernauer, and Jack Hicks for us.

I Will Live for Both of Us is a well-written and engaging examination of Indigenous struggles to protect culture and land within and against a colonial and land claims framework. The book tackles internal contradictions and disconnections between community interests and representative Inuit governing bodies, and provides a detailed but very accessible account of the real impact of environmental governance in the north.

Andrea Procter
Book cover for I Will Live for Both of Us shows Inuk author, Joan Scottie, standing before a rushing river
The following two tabs change content below.
is an environmental historian of Canada and the United States, editor, project manager, and digital communications strategist. She earned her PhD in History from the University of Saskatchewan in 2019. She is an executive member, editor-in-chief, and social media editor for the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE). Additionally, she is the Managing Editor for the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. She is also a working board member of the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society and Girls Rock Saskatoon and a Coordinating Team member of Showing Up for Racial Justice Saskatoon-Treaty Six. A passionate social justice advocate, she focuses on developing digital techniques and communications that bridge the divide between academia and the general public in order to democratize knowledge access. You can find out more about her and her freelance services at jessicamdewitt.com.

NiCHE encourages comments and constructive discussion of our articles. We reserve the right to delete comments that fail to meet our guidelines including comments under aliases, or that contain spam, harassment, or attacks on an individual.