Cover image for Rethinking the Great White North : race, nature, and the historical geographies of whiteness in Canada / edited by Andrew Baldwin, Laura Cameron, and Audrey Kobayashi.
Rethinking the Great White North : race, nature, and the historical geographies of whiteness in Canada / edited by Andrew Baldwin, Laura Cameron, and Audrey Kobayashi.
Publication Information:
Vancouver : UBC Press, c2011.
Physical Description:
x, 343 p. : ill., map, plan ; 24 cm.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
305.800971 RET Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Canadian national identity is bound to the idea of a Great White North. Images of snow, wilderness, and emptiness seem innocent, yet this path-breaking book reveals they contain the seeds of racism. Informed by the insight that racism is geographical as well as historical and cultural, the contributors trace how notions of race, whiteness, and nature helped construct a white country in travel writing and treaty making; in scientific research and park planning; and in towns, cities, and tourist centres. Rethinking the Great White North offers a new vocabulary for contemporary debates on Canada's role in the North and the meaning of the nation.

Author Notes

Andrew Baldwin is a lecturer in human geography at Durham University. Laura Cameron is an associate professor of geography at Queen's University and Canada Research Chair in Historical Geographies of Nature. Audrey Kobayashi is a professor of geography and Queen's Research Chair at Queen's University.

Contributors: Luis L.M. Aguiar, Kay Anderson, Stephen Bocking, Emilie Cameron, Jessica Dempsey, Brian Egan, Bruce Erickson, Kevin Gould, Roger Keil, Phillip Gordon Mackintosh, Claire Major, Tina I.L. Marten, Tyler McCreary, Richard Milligan, Sherene H. Razack, Catriona Sandilands, Juanita Sundberg, and Jocelyn Thorpe.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Where Is the Great White North? Spatializing History, Historicizing WhitenessAndrew Baldwin and Laura Cameron and Audrey Kobayashi
Part 1 Identity and Knowledge
1 "A Phantasy in White in a World That Is Dead": Grey Owl and the Whiteness of SurrogacyBruce Erickson
2 Indigenous Knowledge and the History of Science, Race, and Colonial Authority in Northern CanadaStephen Bocking
3 Cap Rouge Remembered? Whiteness, Scenery, and Memory in Cape Breton Highlands National ParkCatriona Sandilands
Part 2 City Spaces
4 The "Occult Relation between Man and the Vegetable": Transcendentalism, Immigrants, and Park Planning in Toronto, c. 1900Phillip Gordon Mackintosh
5 SARS and Service Work: Infectious Disease and Racialization in TorontoClaire Major and Roger Keil
6 Shimmering White Kelowna and the Examination of Painless White Privilege in the Hinterland of British ColumbiaLuis L.M. Aguiar and Tina I.L. Marten
Part 3 Arctic Journeys
7 Inscription, Innocence, and Invisibility: Early Contributions to the Discursive Formation of the North in Samuel Hearne's A Journey to the Northern OceanRichard Milligan and Tyler McCreary
8 Copper Stories: Imaginative Geographies and Material Orderings of the Central Canadian ArcticEmilie Cameron
Part 4 Native Land
9 Temagami's Tangled Wild: The Making of Race, Nature, and Nation in Early-Twentieth-Century OntarioJocelyn Thorpe
10 Resolving "the Indian Land Question"? Racial Rule and Reconciliation in British ColumbiaBrian Egan
11 Changing Land Tenure, Defining Subjects: Neo-Liberalism and Property Regimes on Native ReservesJessica Dempsey and Kevin Gould and Juanita Sundberg
Extremity: Theorizing from the MarginsKay Anderson
Colonization: The Good, the Bad, and the UglySherene H. Razack