Wilderness and tolerance in Flora MacDonald Denison: towards a biopolitics of whiteness

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Building on recent argumentation concerning the relationship between wilderness and multiculturalism and whiteness in Canada, this essay argues that the relationship between wilderness and tolerance, one of multiculturalism's operative terms, offers a potentially rich vein for researching and theorizing liberal biopolitics and whiteness in Canada. To formulate this argument the essay historicizes the pairing of tolerance and wilderness in Edwardian Canada through the figure of Flora MacDonald Denison, an important early twentieth-century Canadian feminist and labour activist, a wilderness enthusiast, Theosophist/spiritualist and Walt Whitman devotee.

Keywords: Flora MacDonald Denison; liberal biopolitics; tolerance; wilderness

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2010.523842

Affiliations: Department of Geography, Durham University, Durham, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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