January 18, 2018

Teaching Unit Nr. 1 – Ecological Imperialism

Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE) – Environmental History
David Brownstein, Klahanie Research Ltd.

This university-level teaching unit is designed to be easily scaled up or down regarding class time consumed, or difficultly, as appropriate for the individual course context.  The material in this unit has a strict focus on Canada (specifically the North), though instructors in other locations are encouraged to improvise on their own, using this module as a base, to insert a comparative element and make connections to other places or themes.

Learning goals:

  • Introduce the themes of ecological imperialism and the Columbian exchange
  • Contextualize the manifestation of ecological imperialism in Canada’s north
  • Familiarize the student with archival sources that inform historical narratives of colonization and environmental change
  • Encourage students to connect these concepts with their own experience of the world

This teaching unit is composed of six resources:

  1. an open source journal article, to be assigned as a reading
  2. discussion questions focused on the reading and the video
  3. a contextual essay, around which instructors can build their own lecture or share with Teaching Assistants working outside their area of expertise
  4. primary sources, in this case photographs from Library and Archives Canada, and a text courtesy of the online “Canadiana Collection,” to be deployed as best suits the purposes of the instructor
  5. a suggestion for two online streaming videos from the National Film Board of Canada, either of which can be shown in class, or assigned to students as homework
  6. a glossary of “Canadian” terms and concepts, to support a non-Canadian, international audience

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