Encounters with Nature

Dunlap, Thomas R. Nature and the English Diaspora: Environment and History in the
United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1999.
Hoeksema Written Project Dunlap Abstract
In his book, Nature and the English Diaspora, Dunlap attempts to explain how
Anglo settlers in Canada, United States, Australia, and New Zealand recognized their
relationship with land in the past two centuries. He describes the development of natural
science during this time as one explanation for this question. Natural science was a field
that was easily accessible to the general population, as it required little knowledge to be a
part of. Anglo’s began to study plants and animals as a hobby, forming a new kind of
relationship with the land. Dunlap describes the idea of land possessing humans instead
of humans possessing land as an example of how people’s association with land had
changed.1 One of the ways that the Anglo’s tried to connect with the land was through
hunting. However, in an effort to develop this new relationship with the land, the Anglo’s
sometimes altered the lands in a harmful way, destroying some ecosystems. As time went
on though, scientific study of land became limited to the elites instead of the masses, as it
took much more knowledge and detailed study. Dunlap’s explanation of the relationship
between land and Anglo’s is crucial because it helps us understand better why we see the
earth the way we do today. I thought that Dunlap’s description was good and that he
brought in good examples to strengthen his arguments.
Dunlap, Nature and the English Diaspora,1st half