Best Book in Canadian Environmental History Prize: The 2024 Winner

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We are pleased to announce that NiCHE’s 2024 Best Book in Canadian Environmental History Prize has been awarded to Andrew Watson, Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. His book, Making Muskoka: Tourism, Rural Identity, and Sustainability, 1870–1920, was published with UBC Press in 2022.

Cover of Making Muskoka by Andrew Watson

The prize jury writes:

Reading Making Muskoka is a rich and layered story of modernity and energy transitions. Paying close attention to the materiality of shield ecology, Watson foregrounds sustainability as a process whose attention to change over time makes it a rich historical analysis. Though now known largely for its recreational cottages, as Andrew Watson shows, the Ontario Shield reveals a multi-scalar transformation at hand. Interested in economic and environmental sustainability, community identities, and the consequences of energy transitions on Muskoka’s local consumerism and tourism, as well as the region’s greater enmeshing into wider networks and outside markets, Watson tells a history that is highly relevant to the broader field of Canadian environmental history. Watson makes a significant and prescient contribution to the field in this richly researched and elegantly written history.

The NiCHE Prize for Best Book in Canadian Environmental History is awarded every other year to a meritorious publication that makes important and innovative contributions to the field of Canadian environmental history, broadly conceived. It is generously sponsored by a donation from NiCHE’s founding director, Alan MacEachern.

NiCHE wishes to thank the members of this year’s prize jury (Ramya Swayamprakash, chair; George Colpitts; and Mark McLaughlin) for their service, and we wish to congratulate Andrew Watson on his award-winning work!

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