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This paper contributes to a growing body of literature on the historical geographies of extraction. It develops a critique of industrial heritage through an account of North Bloomfield California, a settlement within the boundaries of Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, and home to what was, in the years leading up to 1884, the largest and richest hydraulic gold mine in the world. I use archived fragments from two people who lived and worked in North Bloomfield to undercut the grand narratives of environmental conquest that still tend to undergird industrial heritage rubrics. The places given over to commemorate key moments in the development of our industrial society provide crucial orientation for contemporary environmental decision making. I demonstrate how a more intimate and nuanced approach to the industrial past through ancillary stories that foreground everyday encounters with nature can be used to challenge the soothing plotlines of technological genius, dignified suffering, social progress and enlightened restraint that so often frame public histories of extraction.
|Journal||Journal of Historical Geography|
|Early online date||16 Jun 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Oct 2015|
- Environmental crisis
- Industrial heritage
- hydraulic mining
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- Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences - Senior Lecturer
Person: Teaching And Research
- 1 Finished
Mining Memories: Recovering Social and Environmental Pasts at International Industrial Heritage Sites
Arts and Humanities Research Council
01 Sept 2010 → 31 Aug 2012
Project: Externally funded research