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Sustaining the West

Cultural Responses to Western Environments, Past and Present

Liza Piper and Lisa Szabo-Jones, editors

Environmental Humanities Series


Paper 365 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-923-4

Release Date: Forthcoming January 2015

Online discount: 25%

$42.99  $32.24



Western Canada’s natural environment faces intensifying threats from industrialization in agriculture and resource development, social and cultural complicity in these destructive practices, and most recently the negative local effects brought about by global climate change. In Sustaining the West: Cultural Responses to Western Environments Past and Present, arts and humanities scholars and literary and visual artists tackle these pressing environmental issues in provocative and transformative ways. Their commitment to environmental causes emerges through the fields of environmental history, environmental and ecological criticism (ecocriticism), ecofeminism, ecoart, ecopoetry, and environmental journalism. The complex nature of the problems being addressed calls for productive, interdisciplinary solutions.

This indispensable and timely resource brings together creative writers, literary scholars, historians, curators, visual artists, naturalists, and geographers in a sustained cross-pollinating conversation across the environmental humanities about forms of representation and activism that enable ecological knowledge and ethical action on behalf of Western Canadian environments, yet have global reach. Common developments in the contributors’ construction of environmental knowledge include a focus on the power of sentiment in linking people to the fate of nature, and the need to decolonize social and environmental relations and assumptions in the West.

Liza Piper is an associate professor at the University of Alberta, where she teaches environmental and Canadian history. She researches and writes about the relations between people and the rest of nature in the past, primarily in northern environments and with a particular focus on the roles of science and industry and the consequences for diet and health. She is the author of The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada (2009).

Lisa Szabo-Jones is a Ph.D. candidate in English and film studies at the University of Alberta and a 2009 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar. She is a founding and current editor of the online journal The Goose, a biannual publication of the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada, established in 2005.