The Bear and its Role in Past and Current Colonial Imaginaries in Ontario

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Hosted by

JHI Environmental Humanities Network Working Group

170 St. George Street, Jackman Humanities Building, 6th floor, Room 617

ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES WORKS IN PROGRESS
Sue Ruddick and Neil Nunn
Department of Geography & Planning

The Bear and its Role in Past and Current Colonial Imaginaries in Ontario

This session will explore the ways that the bear has figured centrally in colonial imaginaries in the region. Drawing from an expansive archive which includes newspaper accounts in the Globe from the early 1800s to the present, settler accounts of homesteading and historical non-fiction, we trace successive iterations of encounters with the bear from the early 1800s to the present day – most recently the bear who was killed after wandering into a Scarborough backyard in 2017. Although this final event and the outrage it prompted might be seen as a turning point, when set within the larger frame of anti-relationality this rapprochement might be considered as no more than a kind of “anti-conquest” (Mary Louise Pratt) within which a more expansive concern for wildlife becomes part of a narrative of settler innocence, without disturbing larger hegemonic structures.

Friday 17 January 2020, 12-2pm
Jackman Humanities Building (170 St. George Street), Room 617
RSVP to caroline.holland@mail.utoronto.ca

 

EHN poster