Improved Earth: Prairie Space as Modern Artefact, 1869-1944
By: Rod Bantjes (author)Hardback
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Improved Earth is a history of the making of 'abstract spaces of modernity' in the setting of the Canadian prairies, particularly rural Saskatchewan, from 1869 to 1944. Rod Bantjes demonstrates how three interrelated projects<—>state formation, agrarian class formation, and the transformation of the environment<—>were conceived in spatial terms and employed competing visions of spatial possibility. Bantjes proposes that the prairies be thought of as a site of modernity, and makes a case for viewing prairie farmers as 'modernists' who not only embraced, but took an active role in the making of modernity. Indeed, many of the questions that excited the imaginations of prairie politicians and reformers are alive today: the ecological and social value of 'localization' in agricultural production; the potentials for 'community' maintained and linked by transportation and communications technologies; and the possibilities of democratic decentralization within large translocal networks.
The first systematic treatment of the spatial dimensions of the colonization of the prairie west, Improved Earth is a unique and thorough study certain to provoke new debates about the way space and time are imagined.
Rod Bantjes is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at St. Francis Xavier University.
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- ID: 9780802087829
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