Mobility - the movements of people, things, and ideas, as well as their associated cultural meanings - has been a key factor in shaping Canadians' perceptions of and interactions with their country. Approaching the burgeoning field of environmental history in Canada through the lens of mobility reveals some of the distinctive ways in which Canadians have come to terms with the country's climate and landscape.
Spanning Canada's diverse regions, throughout its history, from the closing of the age of sail to the contemporary era of just-on-time delivery, Moving Natures: Mobility and the Environment in Canadian History examines a wide range of topics, from the impact of seasonal climactic conditions on different transportation modes, to the environmental consequences of building mobility corridors and pathways, to the relationship between changing forms of mobility with tourism and other recreational activities. Contributors make use of traditional archival sources, as well as historical geographic information systems (HGIS), qualitative and quantitative analysis, and critical theory.
This thought-provoking collection divides the intersection of environmental and mobility history into two approaches. The chapters in the first section deal primarily with the construction and productive use of mobility technologies and infrastructure, as well as their environmental constraints and consequences. The chapters in the second section focus on consumers' uses of those vehicles and pathways: on pleasure travel, tourism, and recreational mobility. Together, they highlight three quintessentially Canadian themes: seasonality, links between mobility and natural resource development, and urbanites' experiences of the environment through mobility.
With contributions by:
Judy Burns Jim Clifford Ken Cruikshank Jessica Dunkin Elizabeth L. Jewett Don Lafreniere Elsa Lam Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert J.I. Little Daniel Macfarlane Merle Massie Tor H. Oiamo Joy Parr Thomas Peace Andrew Watson
About the authors
BEN BRADLEY is a Grant Notley Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta. His research examines the linkages between mobility, landscape, and mass culture in twentieth-century Canada.
JAY YOUNG is outreach officer at the Archives of Ontario and a founding editor of ActiveHistory.ca. He completed his doctorate at York University in 2012 followed bya SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship in history at McMaster University.
COLIN M. COATES teaches environmental history and Canadian studies at York University. He is past president of the Canadian Studies Network-Réseau d’études canadiennes and was a member of the executive of NiCHE, the Network in Canadian History and Environment.
Ken Cruikshank, professor of history and former dean of Humanities at McMaster, works on the history of business and of the administrative state in Canada and the United States, particularly between the 1880s and World War II. He is the author of Close Ties: Railways, Government and the Board of Railway Commissioners, 1851–1933.
As long-time research collaborators, Ken and Nancy have focused on the state, the environment and recreation in the history of Hamilton Harbour. In 2016 UBC Press published their The People and the Bay: A Social and Environmental History of Hamilton Harbour, which won the Canadian Historical Association’s 2017 Clio Prize for Ontario regional history.
Merle Massie is a Saskatchewan historian and award-winning author of Forest Prairie Edge, raised in Saskatchewan's forest fringe and trained at the University of Saskatchewan. She now lives on the prairies, farming with her husband and writing Saskatchewan stories.
Daniel Macfarlane is an Assistant Professor with the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University. His research examines Canada-US border waters and he is the author of Negotiating a River, Canada, the US and the Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Joy Parr is a Farley Endowed Professor of History at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of The Gender of Breadwinners, winner of the 1990 Macdonald Prize for the best work in Canadian history.
J.I. Little is a professor in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University, author of Loyalties in Conflict: A Canadian Borderland in War and Rebellion, 1812–1840, and co-author of An Illustrated History of Quebec: Tradition and Modernity.
Jessica Dunkin is an independent scholar based in Yellowknife, NT.
- Winner, Heritage Toronto Historical Writing: Short Publications Award for the chapter "Soils and Subways: Excavating Environments during the Building of Rapid Transit in Toronto, 1944-1968" by Jay Young
This collection puts older themes in a new light, works outside of a nationalist perspective, and offers close readings of cases to make larger observations... Many historical geographers and environmental historians will find a great deal of interest within these pages, and the basis for fruitful comparisons with other cases and places.
- Matthew Evenden, Journal of Historical Geography
Moving Natures presents an engaging and thought-provoking introduction to the potential of reimagining the interconnected roles of mobility and the environment in Canadian History
- J.L. Weller, BC Studies
Moving Natures is a welcome intervention in several fields that engage with Canada’s size, including environmental history, mobility studies, science and technology studies, and Canadian social and cultural history. Here, dominant narratives of transportation networks as annihilators of Canadian distances are complicated and decentralized by prying open the black boxes of mobility studies and environmental history with the crowbars of the other... The result is a well-rounded set of twelve interdisciplinary stories that address both the impact of mobility networks on the environment as well as changing perceptions of the environment when viewed from different transportation platforms.
- Blair Stein, Scientia Canadensis
This excellent collection should be seen as an initial step towards the refinement of mobility as a historical concept and a greater unpacking of mobility histories.
- Alan Gordan, The Journal of Transport History
Other titles by Ben Bradley
Other titles by Jay Young
Other titles by Jim Clifford
Other titles by Ken Cruikshank
Other titles by Andrew Watson
Other titles by Merle Massie
Other titles by Daniel Macfarlane
Fixing Niagara Falls
Environment, Energy, and Engineers at the World’s Most Famous Waterfall
The First Century of the International Joint Commission
A Century of the Canadian-American Water Relationship
Negotiating a River
Canada, the US, and the Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway
Historical GIS Research in Canada
Other titles by Don Lafreniere
Other titles by Joy Parr
Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953-2003
Histories of Canadian Children and Youth
British Immigrant Apprentices to Canada, 1869-1924
These Goods Are Canadian Made
An Historian Thinks About Things
The Gender of Breadwinners
Women, Men and Change in Two Industrial Towns, 1880-1950
A Diversity of Women
Women in Ontario since 1945
Other titles by J.I. Little
Reading the Diaries of Henry Trent
The Everyday Life of a Canadian Englishman, 1842-1898
At the Wilderness Edge
The Rise of the Antidevelopment Movement on Canada's West Coast
The Other Quebec
Microhistorical Essays on Nineteenth-Century Religion and Society
Love Strong as Death
Lucy Peel’s Canadian Journal, 1833-1836