2 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2017
    1. Andrew Stuhl, Unfreezing the Arctic: Science, Colonialism, and the Transformation of Inuit Lands (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016).

      Stuhl, an Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities at Bucknell University, based research on archival work, ethnography, and two years living in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. He traces the history of science in the western North American Arctic from 1850 to 1984, and treats scientific research, ideas, and resource management schemes as both colonial history and environmental history. His work complements that of Prof. Ned Searles, who investigates the town-land relations of Inuit in the eastern Arctic, even though the two scholars take different approaches to understanding Arctic life. I see Stuhl's book a great guide to the western Arctic and to scientific engagements with the Arctic in general.

    1. The North

      Generally, when Canadians spoke or speak of "the North," they are referring to both a particular geographical region as well as an idea with rich symbolic value. Geographically, "the North" usually references the area within Canada that lies above the 60th parallel, which roughly corresponds with the territories of the Yukon Territory, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Sometimes, commenters distinguish between this "territorial north" and the "provincial north," since there are lands within the Canadian provinces (and thus below the 60th parallel) that have features typically considered "northern": sparsely populated, vegetation and animals common in boreal and tundra environments, and infrastructures that are more common in rural rather than urban settlements. Canadians also have historically viewed "the North", as Berger says here, as a frontier, and thus imbued it with rich symbolic value. Since the confederation of Canada in 1867, "The North" has figured prominently in nationalist views of progress, usually in the context of economic development, defense and geopolitics. Over the 20th century, Canadians began including ideas associated with "the North" into expressions of their national identity. For instance, the lyric "the true north strong and free" can be found in the national anthem. Berger's foregrounding and usage of "the North" here is meant to bring the reader into what will be a very different view of a place that many people think they know well.

      Annotation drawn from Sherrill Grace, Canada and the Idea of North (Toronto: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007).