What makes a place, space or site wild? Can there be wild places in an urban space? What does wildness have to do with conceptions of the “civilized” or developed places?
This project is part critical natural history, and part human geography, where I consider the ways identities and experiences filter the way space is understood to be wild. Looking more broadly at scholarship on the construction of nature and culture, I inestigate the way space is socially produced. This means considering the cultural ways wild or “natural” spaces take shape. I look at issues like environmental racism, the gendering of space, and narratives about different areas of cities I have lived in, such as Montreal, Toronto and Philadelphia, and ground my analysis in recognizing the unceded indigenous territories I have called home, thinking about contested claims to land. My writing with this project creates maps of the city that reflects life experiences and engages critically with urban environments. Cities are full of wild and wayward places and spaces that shape varied experiences and are shaped by multiple identities. I’ll be posting the first installment soon!