John Thistle’s book on the history of the grasslands of British Columbia’s interior is the winner of the fourth annual Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia. The $1,000 prize, given by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, will be awarded at UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre in June.
The book, Resettling the Range: Animals, Ecologies, and Human Communities in British Columbia is a new study of the occupation of the Cariboo-Chilcotin region by ranchers and other settlers. Thistle’s book examines the ecological and historical impact of the settlement including eradicating grasshoppers and wild and feral horses from the grasslands.
“John’s book shines a light on an otherwise overlooked area of British Columbia’s history,” says Dr. Ingrid Parent, UBC’s University Librarian. “We are thrilled that this year’s Basil Stuart-Stubbs prize has been awarded to a book written by a UBC alumnus and published by UBC Press.”
Resettling the Range explores the profound consequences of eradication efforts in the BC interior in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including the alteration of the ecological balance of the grasslands and the impact on the indigenous people in the area.
“I wanted to write a book about a landscape I loved. I also wanted to tell a story about the history of this place that was not limited to humanity alone, so a book that looked at the grasslands history from the vantage point of wild horses and grasshoppers was inherently attractive to me.” – John Thistle
Thistle is a PhD graduate from UBC’s department of geography and was most recently a Research Associate at Memorial University’s Labrador Institute where his work focused on the social, economic, and environmental legacies of large-scale resource extraction. Thistle’s teaching and research interests span environmental history, economic geography, and science and technology studies. Resettling the Range is his first published book.
The two other finalists are: Lisa Pasolli’s Working Mothers and the Child Care Dilemma: A History of British Columbia’s Social Policy (UBC Press) and Maria Tippett’s Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture (Harbour Publishing). For full citations, see the Shortlist 2016.
About the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia
The Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia was established in memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, a bibliophile, scholar and librarian who passed away in 2012. Stuart-Stubbs was formerly University Librarian at UBC Library and Director of UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. The award, generously supported by donors, pays homage to his leadership role in many national and regional library and publishing activities, particularly in the production and distribution of Canadian books and Canadian publishing.