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Imagining and Inhabiting Resource Landscapes

Imagining and Inhabiting Resource Landscapes

Imagining and Inhabiting Resource Landscapes has emerged from discussions during the past two years of our group Imagining and Inhabiting Northern Landscapes. Members initially connected based on a shared research interest in Northern landscapes, and over the course of the group we addressed and critiqued many of the categories that are often attached to the concept of the North, such as the myth of emptiness and the realities of colonialism. Resource extraction became a frequent topic for discussion, in the form of giant mines or hydroelectric dams. More abstractly, we also considered forms of resource extraction like the nineteenth-century fur trade or the concept of wilderness preservation and tourism as its own form of resource. As the group continued it became clear that many of us held a shared interest in landscapes constructed as resource rich, outside the discursive bounds of the North. This year we are both widening its geographic scope and narrowing its conceptual focus. This shift has allowed us to invite new faculty and graduate students to participate, joining many continuing members. The format of our working group will proceed as it has in the past, with members suggesting texts or artefacts as openings for our monthly discussion. After a successful graduate student workshop in the last year, we also intend to further integrate graduate students’ own work into the sessions, and to encourage graduate student facilitators for select discussions. This format, of reading and presentation/ discussion, has served us well by creating a shared intellectual space for members and promoting cross-disciplinary exchanges. Our reoriented group emerged from these meetings, as members discussed different, yet complementary, approaches to resource extraction. In the coming year we will also organize a seminar in the second semester on a specific aspect of resource extraction and the humanities, with input and suggestions from group members. We also plan to invite a scholar from outside the GTA to participate, along with local scholars and artists. This seminar will provide opportunities for both small group discussion and a more public event.

Leads
Michaela Rife, Ph.D. student, Art History
Judith Ellen Brunton, Ph.D. student, Study of Religion
Matthew Farish, FAS Geography & Planning

Faculty at the University of Toronto
Mark Cheetham, FAS Art
Ken Derry, UTM Historical Studies
Michael Ekers, UTSC Human Geography
Kajri Jain, UTM Visual Studies
Pamela Klassen, FAS Study of Religion
Sharlene Mollett, UTSC Human Geography
Alexandra Rahr, lecturer, FAS Centre for the Study of the United States
Alison Smith, FAS History

Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto

Ryan Hall, FAS History and Canadian Studies

Graduate Students at the University of Toronto
Zach Anderson, Geography & Planning
Travis Bost, Geography & Planning
Ryan Buchanan, History
Marisa Karyl Franz, Study of Religion
Elsie Lewison, Geography & Planning
Neil Nunn, Geography & Planning
Meaghan Weatherdon, Study of Religion

Graduate Students outside the University of Toronto
Samane Hemmat, Law, York University
Colin Sutherland, Geography, York University


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