The Offshore: Flows of Oil and Knowledge in the Beaufort Sea
This research project explores the history of offshore oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea (Alaska, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories) since the late 1960s. I am interested in applying concepts from historical political ecology and the history of science to analyze how a range of historical actors shaped the future of the Arctic oil frontier–including corporate execs, civil servants, politicians, Inuit activists, scientists and conservationists. One such concept is “ignorance,” or the deliberate production and maintenance of a state of limited knowledge about the ecological risks of offshore oil activity. I draw on records from US and Canadian federal regulatory agencies; correspondence between Inuit organizations and those agencies; and environmental non-governmental organizations like the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee. I also employ digital text analysis methods, often through Voyant Tools.
Modern Treaties and Environmental Regimes in Canada
Modern treaties–or, the comprehensive land claim agreements signed between the federal government of Canada and Aboriginal communities since 1975–have reshaped the human relationship with nature in much of the country. This research project examines the ways modern treaties create unique environmental regimes by analyzing the history of the first two modern treaties signed, the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (1975) and the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (1984), along with an important precursor to these, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (1971). I am particularly interested in how federal governmental bodies with regulatory authority over environmental matters–namely, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs; Energy, Minerals, and Resources; and the Department of Environment–shaped the federal position on issues like land use planning, environmental impact assessment, and non-renewable resource management. I draw on archival records from these three departments as well as the personal collection of one of the chief federal negotiators of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, Simon Reisman. This research responds to interests and issues presented at the “Making Treaties Work for Future Generations” conference sponsored by the Land Claims Agreement Coalition in December 2015. My work on this project was supported by a Fulbright Visiting Research Chair fellowship between January and June, 2016.
Andrew Stuhl, “Science and Indigenous Knowledge in Land Claim Settlements: Negotiating the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, 1977-1989,” in Stephen Bocking and Daniel Heidt, eds., Cold Science: Environmental Knowledge in the North American Arctic During the Cold War (Routledge Press, forthcoming in March 2019)
Learning to Live with Floods: Histories, Change, Remembrance, and Resilience
Learning to Live with Floods will be an interdisciplinary and community-based exploration of hurricanes, extreme rain events, and other ‘freak’ storms. It will draw on history, ethics, literary analysis, creative writing, film/media studies, and the performing arts to understand diverse experiences with flood waters—past, present, and future. The people and landscapes of the Susquehanna Valley will serve as the principal objects of critical humanist inquiry, while also acting as collaborators in knowledge production and the beneficiaries of public scholarship. Of interest specifically are histories, memories, and meanings of flooding—as well as how the humanities can contribute to flood resilience in the face of increasing frequency of intense storms. This approach builds from research I will conduct during sabbatical in AY ’19-’20.
The centerpiece of Learning to Live with Floods will be a series of events attached to the annual Lewisburg Arts Festival, commonly held the final weekend of April. The Arts Festival attracts hundreds of arts vendors and thousands of Valley residents to downtown Lewisburg. In so doing, the Festival creates a unique stage and audience for a variety of public scholarship activities. These include film screenings and discussions at Campus Theater, open-mic storytelling and spoken word events at local restaurants, showcases of music and dance on the streets, and community discussions and installations of public history and art exhibits in Bucknell spaces on Market Street. The bulk of the funding for the position will be dedicated to invited speakers, procuring film screening rights, and supporting exhibits, installations, and performances. In imagining this event, this proposal takes inspiration from similar public humanities initiatives, including Learning to Live with Water (University of Gloucestershire), Changing Currents (University of Illinois), Water Matters (Smithsonian Institute), and the Water and the City Symposium (Vrije Universiteit).
Bushel and Barrel: An Environmental History of Fermentation
A back-burner project, I’ve always wanted to explore the history of brewing as a way of understanding changing human relationships with the environment. I brew beer at home and know it involves a certain combination of lab-bench knowledge, fresh ingredients, clean instruments, and the wonders of yeast. Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery, is located in Pennsylvania, not too far from Bucknell. And the region also has some orchards, which produced the United States’ original boozy beverage of choice, hard apple cider.