I grew up in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. My degrees in history (BA - 1989; MA - 1994) are from the University of British Columbia where I became fascinated with the relations between stories and places. A Commonwealth Scholarship allowed me to follow my interests in environmental history over to historical geography at the University of Cambridge in England. I received my Ph.D. from the Cambridge Department of Geography in 2001. I was Junior Research Fellow in Historical Geography at Churchill College, Cambridge (1999-2002) and arrived in Kingston with my partner and son to experience my first Ontario winter, January 2003. Since then, we have enjoyed the lakes in every season and the creative communities which enliven the University and our neck of the woods near Skeleton Park.
Research and teaching are complementary activities. Since arriving at Queen's, I have developed two 3rd year undergraduate courses, ‘Geographical Imaginations’ and ‘Environments & Societies’ as well as a graduate course which explores cultures and histories of fieldwork. I currently also enjoy teaching the 2nd year course ‘Geographies of Canada’. For course descriptions, please visit the departmental website. Over the years, I have taught the compulsory Ph.D. course on the conceptual and methodological bases of geography as well as the first year introductory course to Human Geography.
Completed Graduate Students and Post-doctoral Students:
Matthew Cavers (MA) Completed 2008: Sub Quercu Felicitas: Place, Knowledge and Victoria's Garry Oaks, 1843-2008 [currently Ph.D. candidate in geography, UBC]
Dr. Drew Bednasek (Ph.D. Co-supervised. Completed 2009: Aboriginal and Colonial Geographies of the File Hills Farm Colony [currently working in Germany]
Dr. Emilie Cameron (Ph.D. Co-supervised. Completed 2009: The Ordering of Things: Narrative Geographies of Bloody Falls and the Central Canadian Arctic [tenure-track faculty member in geography, Carleton University]
Dr. Andrew Baldwin (Post-doctoral Student) Completed 2008: Canadian Nature: Locating the Urban in the Cultural Politics of Nature, Conservation and Nation [lecturer in human geography at the University of Durham, UK]
Dr. Kirsten Greer (Ph.D. Co-supervised): Completed 2011: Red coats and wild birds: military culture and ornithology across the nineteenth century [SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at the University of Warwick, UK]
Current Graduate Students
Sophie Edwards (Ph.D. Candidate, co-supervised): Anna Jameson, imperial intimacies, place-making and the negotiation of belonging
Sinead Earley (Ph.D. Candidate, co-supervised): Beetles, Forests and Climates in Kamloops, British Columbia: Historical Geographies of Forest Entomology and Forest Management, 1945 to Present
Katie Hemsworth (Ph.D. Candidate, co-supervised): Soundtracks of the silenced: Explorations of sound, music, and spatiality in prison environments
Christine Grossutti (Ph.D. Candidate): Placing Sustainable Development: (re)Searching for Sustainability in UNESCO's Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve
Mitchell Patterson (Ph.D. Candidate): Traditional Knowledges, Arctic sciences and sovereignty: The Canadian Rangers
Peter Anderson (Ph.D. Candidate): Agricultural Science and Urban Culture at the Central Experimental Farm
Where is 'nature' and for whom?
This question is key in my current position as Canada Research Chair in Historical Geographies of Nature and involves the study of cultural encounters between people and places in several interrelated projects:
- Arthur George Tansley, Ecologist and Psychoanalyst: Geographies of a Life
- Anthropogenic Natures: Stories for the Planet
- Science, Nature and Psychoanalytic Networks. Collaborative (in part) project with Professor John Forrester, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge.
- Unorthodox Ecologies: The Life and Works of Marietta Pallis. Collaborative project with Professor David Matless, Department of Geography, University of Nottingham.
- Oral/Aural Geographies of Nature: Transnational Ecologies
Some Selected Publications
Books and Attachments
Baldwin, Andrew, Laura Cameron and Audrey Kobayashi, (Eds) Rethinking the Great White North: Race, Nature and the Historical Geographies of Whiteness. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011, pp. 343.
Smith, Mick, Davidson, Joyce, Cameron, Laura and Bondi, Liz (Eds.) Emotion, Place and Culture. Burlington VT and Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2009.
Cameron, Laura. Openings: A Meditation on History, Method and Sumas Lake. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997, book, pp. 135.
Cameron, Laura. “Disappearing A Lake” an independent hypermedia essay published with Openings, located at http://www.mcgill.ca/mqupress
Refereed Journal Articles
Cameron, Laura, “Resources of Hope: Wicken Fen Stories of Anthropogenic Nature,” Cambridge Anthropology, (Spring 2013) 31 (1) 105-118.
Cameron, Laura and David Matless, “Translocal Ecologies: The Norfolk Broads, the ‘Natural’, and the International Phytogeographical Excursion, 1911,” The Journal of the History of Biology 44:1 (2011) 15-41.
Cameron, Laura, “Science, Nature and Hatred: ‘finding out’ at the Malting House Garden School, 1924-9,” Environment and Planning D, Society and Space, 24:6 (2006) 851-872.
Cameron, Laura and Matt Rogalsky, “Conserving Rainforest: Aural Geographies and Ephemerality,” Social and Cultural Geography 7:6 (2006) 909-926.
Greer, Kirsten and Laura Cameron, “‘Swee-ee-et Cán-a-da, Cán-a-da, Cán-a-da’: Sensuous Landscapes of Bird-watching in the Eastern Provinces, 1900-39,” Material History Review, 62 (Autumn 2006) 35-43.
Cameron, Laura, “Oral History in the Freud Archives: Incidents, Ethics and Relations,” Historical Geography, 29 (Spring 2001) 38-44.
Cameron, Laura and John Forrester, “A Nice Type of the English Scientist: Tansley and Freud,” History Workshop Journal 48 (Autumn 1999) 64-100.
Cameron, Laura, “Histories of Disturbance,” Radical History Review 74 (1999) 2-24.
Cameron, Laura, “Distinguished Historical Geography Lecture 2010: Digging in the Dirt: Unnatural Histories and the ‘Art of Not Dividing’”, Historical Geography 38 (2010): 5-22.
Cameron, Laura, “Arthur Tansley and Psychoanalysis”, article for The Tansley Trust of the New Phytologist, (2009)