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Reimagining Environmental History Reimagining Environmental History Ecological Memory in the Wake of Landscape Change CHRISTIAN KNOELLER Reno & Las Vegas U N IVE RS I TY O F N EV AD A P R ES S University of Nevada Press | Reno, Nevada 89557 usa Copyright © 2017 by University of Nevada Press All rights reserved Cover photograph: “Turkey Run Mist” © Alan McConnell William Stafford, excerpt from “White Pigeons” from Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, 1937–1947. Copyright © 2008 by the Estate of William Stafford. “Midwest” and excerpts from “Some Shadows,” “A Sound of the Earth,” “Before It Burned Over: A Sioux Grass Chant,” “By a River in the Osage Country,” “Paso por Aqui,” and “Different Things” from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1998 by the Estate of William Stafford. Excerpts from “The Fish Counter at Bonneville,” “One Home,” and “Report to Crazy Horse” from Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems. Copyright © 2014 by the Estate of William Stafford. All reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, William Stafford, “Lost pioneers...,” “Birds are a hope...,” “Where I walk is road...,” and “The stream itself...” from Sound of the Ax: Aphorisms and Poems by William Stafford, edited by Vincent Wixon and Paul Merchant (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014). Copyright © 2014 by the Estate of William Stafford. Excerpts from “By the Snake River,” “Summer Will Rise,” and “The Peters Family” from Stories That Could Be True: New and Collected Poems (Harper & Row, 1977). Copyright © 1977 by William Stafford. Excerpts from “A Scene for Future History” and “Lake Wendoka” from The Kansas Poems of William Stafford, edited by Denise Low (Woodley Memorial Press, 1990). Copyright © 1990 by William Stafford. All reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Kim Stafford. William Stafford, excerpts from “Spirit of Place— ​ Great Blue Heron” and “Watching Sandhill Cranes” from Even in Quiet Places. Copyright © 1996 by the Estate of William Stafford. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Confluence Press, Library of Congress Cataloging-­ in-Publication Data Names: Knoeller, Christian, 1954– author. Title: Reimagining environmental history : ecological memory in the wake of landscape change / by Christian Knoeller. Description: Reno : University of Nevada Press, 2017. | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017012485 (print) | LCCN 2017029807 (e-book) | ISBN 978-1-943859-51-1 (paperback) | ISBN 978-1-943859-52-8 (cloth) | ISBN 978-0-87417-604-9 (e-book) Subjects: LCSH: American literature— ​ Middle West— ​ History and criticism. | Ecocriticism. | American literature— ​ 20th century— ​ History and criticism. | Ecology in art. | Ecology in literature. | Conservation of natural resources in literature. | BISAC: Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection. Classification: LCC PS273 (e-book) | LCC PS273 .K56 2017 (print) | DDC 810.9/977—dc23 LC record available at The paper used in this book meets the requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences— ​ Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ansi/niso z39.48-­1992 (r2002). First Printing Manufactured in the United States of America To Julie, my wife and partner, who day by day and year by year has whole-­heartedly engaged in the many ways we have shaped this book together. If nature writing is a vital conversation through time, one that teaches us about the land and the ways in which it has been imagined, discovered, settled, forsaken, and redeemed, the subject of that conversation is the intersection between nature and culture in a particular place. — ​Michael Branch and Daniel Philippon, The Height of the Mountains Leaving natural breaths, sounds of rain and winds, calls as of birds and animals in the woods, syllabled to us for names, Okonee, Koosa, Ottawa, Monongahela, Sauk, Natchez, Chattahoochee, Kaqueta, Oronoco, Wabash, Miami, Saginaw, Chippewa, Oshkosh, Walla-­Walla, Leaving such to the States they melt, they depart, charging the water and the land with names. — ​Walt Whitman, “Starting from Paumanok” ...


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