Proposal Title

SESSION 3.1: “Low Modernism” in the Wenner-Gren British Columbia Project, 1956-61

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1010

Start Date

3-5-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

3-5-2019 10:30 AM

Abstract

James C. Scott's notion of “high modernism” has been recently been deployed, and critiqued, in accounts of BC Hydro and Power Authority's planning and construction of the Bennett Dam. This paper offers “low modernism” as a more accurate descriptor of the activities of Hydro's predecessor concern, the Wenner-Gren (BC) Development Company (WGBC), and its offshoot, Peace River Power Development Company. An examination of scattered managerial correspondence in Swedish reveals that while WGBC leaders rehearsed platitudes about scientific progress and development for press conferences and newspapers, they were more concerned, indeed, obsessed with acquiring funds to cover the increasingly frequent loan calls on a growing debt for previous expenditures. James Willard Hurst's venerable notion of "bastard pragmatism" better describes the activities of the predecessor company.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

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

SESSION 3.1: “Low Modernism” in the Wenner-Gren British Columbia Project, 1956-61

IB 1010

James C. Scott's notion of “high modernism” has been recently been deployed, and critiqued, in accounts of BC Hydro and Power Authority's planning and construction of the Bennett Dam. This paper offers “low modernism” as a more accurate descriptor of the activities of Hydro's predecessor concern, the Wenner-Gren (BC) Development Company (WGBC), and its offshoot, Peace River Power Development Company. An examination of scattered managerial correspondence in Swedish reveals that while WGBC leaders rehearsed platitudes about scientific progress and development for press conferences and newspapers, they were more concerned, indeed, obsessed with acquiring funds to cover the increasingly frequent loan calls on a growing debt for previous expenditures. James Willard Hurst's venerable notion of "bastard pragmatism" better describes the activities of the predecessor company.