Book Club

In 2019, we’re doing a whole season focused on how humans and nature have shaped each other in Edmonton. We kicked things off with a live show to brainstorm question ideas, and now we’re exploring the history of dams, bears, climate change, and more.

Part of the process of creating this season was going through a big stack of books for inspiration, from authors like Carol Kaesuk Yoon and Alexander Wilson. To spread that intellectual joy and give listeners a peek behind the curtain, we’re doing a book club this season. Once a month, we’ll get together and talk about a book that’s helped inspire the podcast.

You don’t have to read the book to join in! Just drop by and join us to chat.

Next meetup:

August 29, 7 – 9 PM
Mill Creek Cafe
9562 – 82 Avenue NW

This month’s book is The Culture of Nature: North American Landscape from Disney to the Exxon Valdez by Alexander Wilson.

In many episodes this season, we’re taking a closer look at what’s “natural” here, whether it be the flow of a river full of hydroelectric dams or the absence of grizzlies on the prairies. In The Culture of Nature, Alexander Wilson demonstrates that our ideas of “nature” and “natural” are not innate – they are specific cultural constructions. He also shows how much these ideas have changed over time in North America.

Alexander Wilson was a Toronto-based author and landscape designer. He designed the AIDS Memorial on Church Street, in Toronto’s Gay Village. After he himself died of AIDS-related complications in the 1990s, a memorial plaque in his honour was added to the park, and a separate community garden was created in his name. It features a plaque with a passage from The Culture of Nature:

“We must build landscapes that heal, connect and empower, that make intelligible our relations with each other and the natural world.”

Later this year:

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

Plus more to come.