Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jo Guldi

The Government Sublime
How the Infrastructure State changed our relationship to the natural environment, 1800-1830

Jo's paper looks at the moment when large, centralized bureaucracies began to mediate everyday experiences of the natural landscape. Looking at early tourist visits to the Menai Straits Bridge, among the first modern engineering projects to attract large numbers of visitors to an entirely natural setting, she argues that states immediately transformed channeled public appreciation of nature to a reliance on large, centralized government, with ultimately catastrophic results for decentralized information, local political power, and the fate of the environment.

This paper was originally presented at the American Society for Environmental History, Boise, Idaho, March 2008.

cc Non-Commercial Share-alike 2008.