Craig Colten has collaborated with Geoffrey Buckley to publish a collection of essays on the historical geography of North America. The new volume is entitled North American Odyssey: Historical Geographies for the 21st Century and was published by Rowman and Littlefield.
This groundbreaking volume offers a fresh approach to conceptualizing the historical geography of North America by taking a thematic rather than a traditional regional perspective. Leading geographers, building on current scholarship in the field, explore five central themes. Part I explores the settling and resettling of the continent through the experiences of Native Americans, early European arrivals, and Africans. Part II examines nineteenth-century European immigrants, the reconfiguration of Native society, and the internal migration of African Americans. Part III considers human transformations of the natural landscape in carving out a transportation network, replumbing waterways, extracting timber and minerals, preserving wilderness, and protecting wildlife. Part IV focuses on human landscapes, blending discussions of the visible imprint of society and distinctive approaches to interpreting these features. The authors discuss survey systems, regional landscapes, and tourist and mythic landscapes as well as the role of race, gender, and photographic representation in shaping our understanding of past landscapes. Part V follows the urban impulse in an analysis of the development of the mercantile city, nineteenth- and twentieth-century planning, and environmental justice. With its focus on human-environment interactions, the mobility of people, and growing urbanization, this thoughtful text will give students a uniquely geographical way to understand North American history.
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