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Goodlands

Athabasca University Press | The West Unbound: Social and Cultural Studies


Amer-European settlement of the Great Plains transformed bountiful Native soil into pasture and cropland, distorting the prairie ecosystem as it was understood and used by the peoples who originally populated the land. Settlers justified this transformation with the unexamined premise of deficiency, according to which the Great Plains region was inadequate in flora and fauna and the region lacking in modern civilization. Drawing on history, sociology, art, and economic theory, Frances W. Kaye counters the argument of deficiency, pointing out that, in its original ecological state, no region can possibly be incomplete. Goodlands examines the settlers' misguided theory, discussing the ideas that shaped its implementation, the forces that resisted it, and Indigenous ideologies about what it meant to make good use of the land. By suggesting methods for redeveloping the Great Plains that are founded on native cultural values, Goodlands serves the region in the context of a changing globe.

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“…Kaye synthesizes knowledge of the Great Plains with an almost stunning interdisciplinarity—the disciplines she draws from really are too many to list here—and, equally important to my mind, an unwavering binational Canada-US focus.”

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Frances W. Kaye is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Nebraska. She has held two Fulbright Teaching Program positions, in Montreal and in Calgary, the first of which resulted in the book Hiding the Audience: Arts and Arts Institutions on the Prairies. Kaye divides her time between a farmstead outside Lincoln, Nebraska, and a house in Calgary, so that she may always be close to the prairie land that drives her research.Face the North Wind (1975). This manuscript came to light after his passing in 1999.

 
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