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A Borderless Continent: Rethinking the Canadian-American Borderlands from an Ecological Perspective

October 1, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

A public lecture by Dr. Matthew Hatvany, Department of Geography, Université Laval, titled “A Borderless Continent: Rethinking the Canadian-American Borderlands from an Ecological Perspective” will be presented on Oct. 1 at 3:10 p.m.

In 1918 the Migratory Bird Conservation Act (MBCA) was enacted, creating the first nature preservation accord encompassing an entire continent. This talk, however, argues that the MBCA was essentially proscriptive in its view of nature preservation, doing little to conserve and restore nature.

This “conservation problem” was recognized during the 1920s by waterfowl enthusiasts such as Aldo Leopold, leading to a paradigm shift in the 1930s that influenced the geographical imagination of waterfowl conservationists, leading them to de-emphasize national borders and cultural differences in favor of an ecological waterfowl common traversing the continent. The result was a post-national space of nature and culture that endures to this day.

Woven into its historic etymology is a paradigm shift in thinking about the interdependence of human and natural systems. Viewed as a social construction of nature, the building of a continental waterfowl ecological common was a geographical project focused on avoiding the inevitable tendency of individuals to overexploit a common resource for individual benefit.

The event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by the History Department, as part of its 2018-19 symposium series, and the Canadian-American Center.


October 1, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Categories:


Hill Auditorium, Engineering Science Research Building
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5708 United States


Frédéric Rondeau


History Department and Canadian-American Center