This post graduate seminar will examine the forest histories of northern regions, focusing on Canada, the United States, and Scandinavia. The ecological context for these regions is quite similar, but the social and political contexts of forest changes have been quite different. This seminar will consider questions such as: Who has historically had access to forest resources across the north? How has that access changed with the development of forest industries, scientific forest management, hydropower development, and indigenous community forestry? Whose meanings of the forest have defined the use of the forests, rivers, and other boreal resources, and how has that changed with industrialization? How have societal conflicts shaped the ways scientific research has been translated into resource policy? What have been the effects on the forests, the watersheds, and different human communities in different regions across the global north? What can forest history contribute to environmental policy?
Expected Learning Outcomes
After finishing the course the student should:
have a better understanding of different methodologies and approaches used to understand the past,
have gained knowledge of the forest histories of the global North,
have gained a more specialized knowledge of changing land tenure regimes,
be able to identify and problematize dilemmas and conflicts concerning forests in the North,
be able to independently analyze the ways that forest history can contribute to environmental policy.
Form of Instruction
Individual reading, lectures, seminars, and excursions. Some seminars may be conducted virtually. One course day will include an excursion to local forest sites.
Come to the seminar with readings completed in advance.
Come to the seminar with 2 brief essays (3-5 pages each) written on specific readings; lead discussions on these readings. On March 22, registered students will receive a weblink that allows them to sign up for the readings they wish to write and lead discussions about.
Participate fully in all discussions and excursions.
Write one examining paper (8-10 pages), due 10 May 2013.
Participate in final paper presentations (virtually or in person).
Before the course, the participants will be expected to complete the readings and write 2 brief essays on selected readings. During the course, students will participate fully in discussions, attend lectures, and go on field trips and excursions. A research paper (8 to 10 pages) or similar website will be due on May 10. The course is primarily intended for PhD students, though advanced MA students and recent postdocs may also apply.
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