Theorizing Outdoor Recreation and Ecology

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by Sean Ryan

footprints on a sand dune

Deciding what user impacts are natural or unnatural has inspired much debate. Biophysically, moose cause similar kinds of soil and vegetation impacts as hikers. Yet moose are the sign of nature while hikers are the sign of damage. The field of outdoor recreation is beset with paradoxes, and this book presents a unique, alternative framework to address these dilemmas.

Examining outdoor recreation through the lens of ecological theory, Ryan draws from theorists such as Foucault, Derrida and Latour. The book explores minimum impact strategies designed to protect and enhance ecological integrity, but that also require a disturbing amount of policing of users, which runs counter to the freedom users seek. Recent ecological theory suggests that outdoor recreation's view of nature as balanced when impacts are removed is outdated and incorrect. What is needed, and indeed Ryan presents, is a paradoxical and ecological view of humans as neither natural nor unnatural, a view that embraces some traces in nature.

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Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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About the Author

Sean Ryan is an Individualized Study Tutor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies. View Ryan's faculty page.


Timing Canada

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The Shifting Politics of Time in Canadian Literary Culture

by Paul Huebener

black book cover with two white clocks

From punch clocks to prison sentences, from immigration waiting periods to controversial time-zone boundaries, from Indigenous grave markers that count time in centuries rather than years, to the fact that free time is shrinking faster for women than for men - time shapes the fabric of Canadian society every day, but in ways that are not always visible or logical.

In Timing Canada, Paul Huebener draws from cultural history, time-use surveys, political statements, literature, and visual art to craft a detailed understanding of how time operates as a form of power in Canada. Time enables everything we do - as Margaret Atwood writes, "without it we can't live." However, time also disempowers us, divides us, and escapes our control. Huebener transforms our understanding of temporal power and possibility by using examples from Canadian and Indigenous authors - including Jeannette Armstrong, Joseph Boyden, Dionne Brand, Timothy Findley, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Gabrielle Roy, and many others - who witness, question, dismantle, and reconstruct the functioning of time in their works.

As the first comprehensive study of the cultural politics of time in Canada, Timing Canada develops foundational principles of critical time studies and everyday temporal literacy, and demonstrates how time functions broadly as a tool of power, privilege, and imagination within a multicultural and multi-temporal nation.

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Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
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About the Author

Paul Huebener is an Assistant Professor of English in the Centre for Humanities. View Paul's faculty web page.