Critical Norths

Space, Nature, Theory

By Ray, Sarah Jaquette (editor)
       Maier, Kevin (editor)

344 p., 12 halftones, 5 tables, 6 x 9

Format: Paper

Price: $45.00

Published: 2017

“The North” has long held powerful sway in Western culture. Often seen through contradictions —empty of life yet full of promise, populated by indigenous communities yet ripe for conquest, pristine yet marked by a long human history —the North has moved to the foreground of contemporary life as the most dramatic stage for the reality of climate change.

This book brings together scholars from a range of disciplines to ask key questions about the North and how we’ve conceived it—and how conceiving of it in those terms has caused us to fail the region’s human and nonhuman life. Engaging questions of space, place, ingenuity, identity, nature, the environment, justice, narrative, history, and more; it offers a crucial starting point for an essential rethinking of both the idea and the reality of the North.

Sarah Jaquette Ray is associate professor of environmental studies at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, where she also leads the Environmental Studies Program.

Kevin Maier is associate professor of English and chair of the Humanities Department at the University of Alaska Southeast.


"Diverse, engaging, meticulously edited essays."

"The North oscillates between a region seen as distant and removed from the modern world to a region on the forefront of contemporary climate change. Critical Norths: Space, Nature, Theory edited by Sarah Jaquette Ray and Kevin Maier tackles these dichotomies beginning with the volume’s title. . . . The editors and contributors are to be praised for producing a well-written and coherent collection."
AAG Review of Books