Ecotheories Colloquium

Dams that Save: Law, Beavers, and the Making of the Yukon River
Feb 5, 2024, 4:30 pm6:00 pm


Event Description

This talk retells the social and environmental upheavals of the Klondike Gold Rush through stories from two kinds of beavers: the furry 50-pound dam building kind, and Beaver — a critical figure in the origin stories and legal ideas of the Han Hwech'in, the Indigenous people of the Klondike region. It asks how thinking with such sources of theory can expand our narratives and conceptions of the relationship between human beings and the wider, animate world.

Bathsheba Demuth is a writer and environmental historian specializing in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. From the archive to the dog sled, her research addresses how ecologies and people change each other. Her first book, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait, won multiple awards and was named a best book by NPR, Nature, and other publications. Her writing has appeared in publications from The New Yorker and Granta to The Best American Science and Nature Writing. When not in the north, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where she is currently the Dean’s Associate Professor of History and Environment and Society at Brown University.

Department of English