Northscapes

Northscapes: History, Technology & the Making of Northern Environments, which looks at the making of environments with technologies in the northern reaches of the globe. The idea of North is a multivalent concept. It is geographical, but more than just Arctic; it is both an imagined space and a place of harsh challenges. These challenges resonate with each other across the northern world, shaping different areas of the North in many similar ways. Distinctive northern environments are created as humans adapt to climatic and geographic conditions while simultaneously adapting the landscapes to their own needs with technologies, trade, and social organization. 

This collection of essays argues that the unique environments of the North have been borne of the relationship between humans and nature. Approaching the topic through the lens of environmental history, the contributors examine a broad range of geographies, including those of Iceland and other islands in the Northern Atlantic, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the Pacific Northwest, and Canada, over a time span ranging from CE 800 to 2000. Northscapes is bound together by the intellectual project of investigating the North both as an imagined and mythologized space and as an environment shaped by human technology.

Published reviews of Northscapes:

  • Environmental History 19 (2014): 760-761.

The volume is co-edited with Sverker Sörlin. We also co-authored the volume’s introductory essay. The intro essay (minus last few pages of notes) is available as a sample chapter from the press here.

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