Two months into my postdoc at Dal, I’m going to plunge into the world of blogging. Thanks to my former prof and current colleague, Rohan Maitzen, for encouragement and inspiration in the form of her wonderful blog, Novel Readings.
I’ll be using this space to talk about my main project, London’s Green Geographies, 1769-1842. Green spaces and environmental health are pressing concerns in the increasingly urbanized twenty-first century. The first people to experience the health challenges of a modern megacity were the inhabitants of Romantic-period London. My project is the first major study of the cultural history of urban environmental health in Romantic-period Britain. It will explore how Romantic London residents used green spaces to negotiate environmental change, preserve their health and create a sense of identity.
Expect to see a lot about Halifax fiction here in the next few weeks. In my postdoc proposal, I proposed an adjacent project on Halifax green spaces. I’m excitedly exploring this area new to me. So far I’ve read Anne Emery’s mystery novel, Barrington Street Blues (2007), Hugh MacLennan’s novel of the Halifax Explosion, Barometre Rising (1941), and am currently deep into the American Revolution as portrayed in Thomas H. Raddall’s The Governor’s Lady (1960). I see this as a start to a bigger, transatlantic project involving urban Atlantic Canadian literature.
I’m also learning about digital humanities and am looking forward to further exploring the tech possibilities for historical projects that intersect with space, place, and geography.