Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vii

List of Illustrations

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pp. viii-x

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Acknowledgements

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pp. xi-xii

This volume emerged from the workshop “Cross-Pollination: Seeding New Ground for Environmental Thought and Activism across the Arts and Humanities,” held in Edmonton, Alberta, in March 2011. We thank Melanie Marvin and Cheryl Williams for making the workshop happen—it would not have been possible without their hard work and commitment. ...

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Introduction: What if the Problem Is People?

Liza Piper

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pp. 1-12

In his The Future of Environmental Criticism, Lawrence Buell emphasizes that “issues of vision, value, culture, and imagination are keys to today’s environmental crises at least as fundamental as scientific research, technological know-how, and legislative regulation.”1 He makes this point in order to demonstrate the essential contributions from humanists to solving our environmental crises. ...

Part 1: Acting On Behalf Of

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Chapter 1. Grass Futures: Possibilities for a Re-engagement with Prairie

Trevor Herriot

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pp. 15-22

I want to start by telling you a story. I learned it from a friend, Margaret Hryniuk, who was part of the trio that produced a wonderful book a couple of years ago, Legacy of Stone, about the stone buildings of Saskatchewan. The story though is about a woman named Mary Ann McNabb. ...

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Chapter 2. Wastewest: A State of Mind

Warren Cariou

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pp. 23-32

We humans are destroying ourselves with our waste. It floats in our air, it seeps into our water, it penetrates into every corner of our world and our lives. Much as we try to move it away from us and make it disappear, our waste always finds its way back into our ecosystems, our neighbourhoods, our bodies. ...

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Chapter 3. Sustaining Collaboration: The Woodhaven Eco Art Project

Nancy Holmes

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pp. 33-42

Near where I live in Kelowna, British Columbia, is a place that I and many others love and regard as worth protecting. The Woodhaven Nature Conservancy is a small corner of land that contains within it an intersection of four major bioclimatic zones of the Central Okanagan. ...

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Chapter 4. A Natural History and Dioramic Performance: Restoring Camosun Bog in Vancouver, British Columbia

Lisa Szabo-Jones, David Brownstein

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pp. 43-64

In the summer of 2008, during a Vancouver field trip to the restored Camosun Bog in Pacific Spirit Park, as we walked the circumference of the boardwalk, the two of us fell into conversation.1 We remarked how the design by the Camosun Bog Restoration Group (CBRG) deliberately set up the feel of an outdoor natural history museum with tableau views that gave the sense of viewing living dioramas, ...

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Chapter 5. A Subtle Activism of the Heart

Beth Carruthers

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pp. 65-78

This chapter is rooted in hybridity. It draws from ecophilosophy and is informed by decades of art practice and exploration of the role of art in the world. Its taproot is love of place, especially of the wild, west coast of Canada, a community of myriad species in a green and fecund home-place. ...

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Chapter 6. Sublime Animal

Maria Whiteman

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pp. 79-86

As an artist, I am compelled by the ways in which animals are visualized in contemporary art and in the cultural sphere more generally, and by how distinct techniques of representation afford them differing degrees of cultural significance. ...

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Chapter 7. The Becoming-Animal of Being Caribou: Art, Ethics, Politics

Dianne Chisholm

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pp. 87-108

In 2003, Canadian wildlife biologist Karsten Heuer and filmmaker/environmentalist Leanne Allison spent five months and three seasons filming, writing, and tracking on foot a Porcupine Caribou Herd migration across the high Arctic of western Yukon and eastern Alaska. Being Caribou is the title they give their respective productions.1 ...

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Interlude: Creating Metaphors for Change

Lyndal Osborne

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pp. 109-114

When I was a young girl in Australia I spent a lot of time outdoors walking the beaches and collecting. Over fifty years later I still do the same thing—walking around my home in the (once) rural area on the outskirts of Edmonton, and in my travels to other places. I see firsthand the dramatic changes that are taking place where I live. ...

Part 2: Constructing Knowledge

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Chapter 8. Poetry, Science, and Knowledge of Place: A Dispatch from the Coast

Nicholas Bradley

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pp. 117-138

The great power of rock and water is surely witnessed by those observers who, facing south from vantage points on southern Vancouver Island, look across the Juan de Fuca Strait at Cape Flattery, which appears to point into the Pacific vastness, and at the Olympic Mountains, which seem to pluck storms out of the sky. ...

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Chapter 9. Deception in High Places: The Making and Unmaking of Mounts Brown and Hooker

Zac Robinson, Stephen Slemon

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pp. 139-158

This book asks the question How might interdisciplinary critical knowledge enable ethical action on behalf of western Canadian environments? With a view to understanding something of the cultural politics that underwrite the way in which a particular kind of environment—mountain landscapes, in this instance—comes to be conceptually located, ...

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Chapter 10. Escarpments, Agriculture, and the Historical Experience of Certainty in Manitoba and Ontario

Shannon Stunden Bower, Sean Gouglas

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pp. 159-174

In nineteenth-century Ontario, farmer E.D. Smith looked down toward Lake Ontario from his property above the Niagara Escarpment in Saltfleet Township. Smith was dedicated to agriculture, believing that careful crop management and attention to markets would surely lead to farming success. ...

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Chapter 11. Whatever Else Climate Change Is Freedom: Frontier Mythologies, the Carbon Imaginary, and British Columbia Coastal Forestry Novels

Richard Pickard

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pp. 175-192

Representatives of the British Columbia forest industry have had little to say about climate change. To date, they have promoted the idea that the forest sector can play an important role in the carbon economy with intensively managed forests as carbon sinks, wood-frame construction as long-term carbon storage, and carbon credits for using wood in place of other materials in the manufacturing and construction industries. ...

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Chapter 12. Endangered Species, Endangered Spaces: Exploring the Grasslands of Trevor Herriot’s Grass, Sky, Song and the Wetlands of Terry Tempest Williams’s Refuge

Angela Waldie

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pp. 193-210

In his poem “In Aornis,” Don McKay asks the reader to envision a land without birds, “Where each tangle in the foliage / is not a nest, where the wind / is ridden by machines.”1 He asks us to consider not the specific absence of a dodo or a passenger pigeon, but a much broader chasm encompassing all birds, and the unfathomable silence and stillness that would accompany their disappearance. ...

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Chapter 13. What Should We Sacrifice for Bitumen? Literature Interrupts Oil Capital’s Utopian Imaginings

Jon Gordon

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pp. 211-232

There is a narrative of progress built into the political and economic culture of Canada. The surmounting of obstacles has been, and remains, prominent in narratives of settlement and development, which can be located within a larger narrative of Western rational, scientific, and technological progress. ...

Interlude: Symphony for a Head of Wheat Burning in the Dark

Harold Rhenisch

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pp. 233-238

Part 3: Material Expressions

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Chapter 14. Propositions from Under Mill Creek Bridge: A Practice of Reading

Christine Stewart

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pp. 241-258

Edmonton’s Mill Creek Bridge, Mill Creek, and Mill Creek Ravine meet at 82nd Avenue between 95A and 93 streets. The bridge deck runs east to west at the same height as the tree canopy. Supported by wide concrete girders the bridge is impressive and arching; its wide deck warms under the teleology of traffic. ...

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Chapter 15. Understory Enduring the Sixth Mass Extinction, ca. 2009–11

Rita Wong

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pp. 259-272

Maybe with many years of listening and studying, I could learn the languages of black bear, deer, salal, salmonberry, cedar, and yew. These are just a few inhabitants of the unceded Coast Salish watershed where my drinking water comes from. Ficus Chan, watershed educator and forest guardian, tells me that a bird like the Swainson’s thrush only sings when the salmonberries are edible. ...

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Chapter 16. Seeding Coordinates, Planting Memories: Here, There, & Elsewhere in W.H. New’s Underwood Log

Travis V. Mason

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pp. 273-288

Questions about “here” abound in Canadian literary history, from Northrop Frye’s famous “Where is here?” to Tim Lilburn’s meditative “How to Be Here?” This demonstrated interest in geography vis-à-vis ontology and phenomenology, which Alan Morantz, in Where Is Here? Canadian Maps and the Stories They Tell, calls a “cartographic obsession,” ...

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Chapter 17. Re-Envisioning Epic in Jon Whyte’s Rocky Mountain Poem The fells of brightness

Harry Vandervlist

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pp. 289-302

The fells of brightness is the overall title of Jon Whyte’s ambitious poem (planned for five volumes) on the subject of the Rocky Mountains. Before his death in 1992, Whyte published the first two sections. The fells of brightness, [first volume]: some fittes and starts appeared with Edmonton’s Longspoon Press in 1983, and The fells of brightness, second volume: Wenkchemna was published by the same press in 1985. ...

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Chapter 18. Ware’s Waldo: Hydroelectric Development and the Creation of the Other in British Columbia

Daniel Sims

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pp. 303-324

In Simulacra and Simulation, French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, like a latter-day McLuhan-Nietzschean Zarathustra, proclaims the death of reality, sacrificed to image, representation, and simulation.1 He describes a process by which the image supplants reality by first reflecting a basic reality, then masking and denaturing2 that basic reality, followed by the masking of the absence of that basic reality, ...

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Afterword: Humming Along with the Bees: A Few Words on Cross-Pollination

Pamela Banting

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pp. 325-330

“People, years later, blamed everything on the bees; it was the bees, they said, seducing Vera Lang, that started everything.”1 This is the opening sentence of the canonical Canadian novel What the Crow Said, by our literary genius and genius of place, Robert Kroetsch. One spring, a farm girl, a young woman, who drowses asleep, nude, on the warm spring prairie amid the “blue-purple petals,” “silken stems,” and “pollen-yellow tongues” ...

Bibliography

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pp. 331-348

Contributors

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pp. 349-354

Index

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pp. 355-367

Series Titles

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