Proposal Title

SESSION 3.3: Colonialism’s New Cloak: High Modernism and the Peace River Project

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1010

Start Date

3-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

3-5-2019 10:30 AM

Abstract

In the spring of 1957 the newspapers of British Columbia revealed, and sometimes celebrated, an agreement between the province and Axel Wenner-Gren that appeared to promise the creation of a monorail from Prince George to the Yukon border within a huge private development reserve. That fall a second memorandum called for the construction of hydroelectric dams on the Peace River. Both projects were frequently justified by high modernist rhetoric that promised to develop northern British Columbia. Hand in hand with this discussion was an erasure of the region's Indigenous and colonial past. Yet except for this change in discourse the objectives of the Peace River project were the same as earlier colonial projects. As result high modernism masked the colonial nature of the Peace River project through colonial erasure while at the same time providing “new” justifications for the colonial project.

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May 3rd, 9:00 AM May 3rd, 10:30 AM

SESSION 3.3: Colonialism’s New Cloak: High Modernism and the Peace River Project

IB 1010

In the spring of 1957 the newspapers of British Columbia revealed, and sometimes celebrated, an agreement between the province and Axel Wenner-Gren that appeared to promise the creation of a monorail from Prince George to the Yukon border within a huge private development reserve. That fall a second memorandum called for the construction of hydroelectric dams on the Peace River. Both projects were frequently justified by high modernist rhetoric that promised to develop northern British Columbia. Hand in hand with this discussion was an erasure of the region's Indigenous and colonial past. Yet except for this change in discourse the objectives of the Peace River project were the same as earlier colonial projects. As result high modernism masked the colonial nature of the Peace River project through colonial erasure while at the same time providing “new” justifications for the colonial project.