The Spatiality of Hope: Mapping Canada's Northwest Energy Frontier

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Valeria Guerrieri
Maps engage both with the ‘not there’ and the ‘not yet’ by simultaneously
envisioning the future and tracing the lines of new geographies of
development. Starting from these premises, the paper explores the complex
relationship between cartography and hydrocarbon exploration in the
Canadian Northwest. Through a selection of maps and mapping initiatives, it
is shown how cartography has sustained specific geographic imaginaries of
the North, such as the ‘energy frontier’, by infusing diverse hopes in the map readers. Frontier-making through maps is, in this sense, a particularly difficult process to grasp, being influenced by overlapping interventions and
agendas. The paper argues that it is because of their continuous mobilization
of hope – regardless of whether this is directed towards oil or sovereignty –
that maps should be treated as extremely powerful technologies, which
contribute to transforming Canada’s northwest energy frontier into a ‘sticky’
and thus potentially unescapable site of promise.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)678-694
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - energy geographies, energyscapes, affective cartography, politics of hope, frontier, Canadian North

ID: 203563566