Energy & Natural Resource histories
Mining, clearing, and reclaiming the Rocky Mountains and foothills.
This project is funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant and examines the post-Second World War histories of mining, forestry, and land reclamation in Canada’s Rocky Mountains and adjacent foothills. This project employs innovative field and digital methodologies including repeat photography, to study the history of industrial resource development across a mountain chain known globally for its parks and protected areas, natural beauty, and ecological significance. This research will make significant contributions to interconnected international literatures in environmental and energy histories.
Recent publications and podcasts arising from this project include:
Images courtesy of Mountain Legacy Project and Mary Sanseverino, 2018.
My previous research and writing in energy history appeared in my 2009 book, The Industrial Transformation of Subarctic Canada (UBC Press), which examined how the application of high-energy fuels and mechanical technologies to production changed the cognitive and material links between our work and nature’s work but did not separate one from the other.
The place of energy in Canadian historiography and particularly the work of Harold Innis is explored in my essay, “Innis, Biss, and Industrial Circuitry in the Canadian North,” in Harold Innis and the North: Appraisals and Contestations, ed. W.J. Buxton. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.
The image shows Cat trains on Great Slave Lake delivering or picking up fuel from the Joliffe Island tank farm, 1953.
Source: Busse/NWT Archives/N-1979-052:0722.