Beyond the City Limits
Rural History in British Columbia
Historians have not usually identified British Columbia as a ruralprovince. B.C. historiography has been dominated by mining, logging,and fishing, and theorized within the context of large-scale,laissez-faire capitalism and economic individualism. Silences in thehistorical record have exacerbated this situation and lent tacitsupport to the dominance of resource-based capitalism as the shapingforce in B.C. history.
The essays in Beyond the City Limits, all published herefor the first time, decisively break this silence and challengetraditional readings of B.C. history. In this wide-ranging collection,R.W. Sandwell draws together a distinguished group of contributors whobring expertise, methodologies, and theoretical perspectives taken fromsocial and political history, environmental studies, culturalgeography, and anthropology. They discuss such diverse topics asAboriginal-White settler relations on Vancouver Island, pimping andviolence in northern BC, and the triumph of the coddling moth overOkanagan orchardists, to show that a narrow emphasis on resourceextraction, capitalist labour relations, and urban society is simplynot broad enough to adequately describe those who populated theprovince’s history.
By challenging the dominant urban-based and overwhelminglycapitalist interpretation of the province’s history, theprovocative essays in Beyond the City Limits expand ourunderstanding of what "rural" was and what it meant in thehistory of British Columbia.
- 2000, Winner - Clio Award (British Columbia), Canadian Historical Association
While the rural sometimes gets lost in the dazzling array of topics and methodological approaches represented here, this book is often fun to read and serves as a delightful sampler of what happened 'beyond the city limits' in British Columbia ... If subsequent research efforts 'beyond the city limits' are as well executed as are those depicted in this sampling ... then the history of British Columbia and Canada will be the richer for it.
Ken Favrholt’s article on agricultural settlement south of Kamloops does a wonderful job of explaining the presence of the old abandoned farm houses that dot the landscape on either side of Highway 5, and David Dendy’s account of codling moths in the Okangan is a "must read" for anyone interested in the history of the provincial tree fruit industry or the problems facing the widely publicized sterile insect release program. [Jean] Barman’s essay is clearly written and it manages to tackle a number of potentially contentious issues in a balanced and non-partisan manner. After reading Barman’s contribution you will no longer accept the arguments that all pioneering women were white, that academics are incapable of writing a coherent sentence, and that academic articles are categorically different from the articles that grace the pages of The Beaver or British Columbia Historical News.
Introduction: Finding Rural British Columbia / R.WSandwell
Part 1: Exploring Relations of Power
1. ‘Relating to the Country’: The Lekwammen and theExtension of European Settlement, 1843-1911 / John Lutz
2. Manifestations of Power: Native Resistance to the Resettlement ofBritish Columbia / Bruce Stadfeld
3. An Early Rural Revolt: The Introduction of the Canadian System ofTariffs to British Columbia, 1871-4 / Daniel P. Marshall
4. ‘Lessons in Living’: Film Propaganda and ProgressiveEducation in Rural British Columbia, 1944 / Brian Low
Part 2: Land and Society
5. Reading the Land: Policy and Practice in the Settlement ofSaltspring Island, 1859-91 / R.W. Sandwell
6. Domesticating the Drybelt: Agricultural Settlement in the Hillsaround Kamloops, 1860-1960 / Ken Favrholdt
7. Cougars, Colonists, and the Rural Settlement of Vancouver Island/ Richard Mackie
8. The Worm in the Apple: Contesting the Codling Moth in BritishColumbia / David Dendy
Part 3: Gender and Society
9. Invisible Women: Aboriginal Mothers and Mixed-Race Daughters inRural Pioneer British Columbia / Jean Barman
10. Bachelors in the Backwoods: White Men and Homosocial Culture inUp-Country British Columbia, 1858-71 / Adele Perry
11. Rurality Check: Demographic Boundaries on the British ColumbianFrontier / John Douglas Belshaw
12. Pimping and Courtship: A 1940 Court Case from Northern BritishColumbia / David Peterson del Mar
13. ‘You Would Have Had Your Pick’: Youth, Gender, andJobs in Williams Lake, British Columbia, 1945-75 / Tony F.Arruda
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