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Enclosing Water: Nature and Political Economy in a Mediterranean Valley, 1796-1916: Book by Stefania Barca

Enclosing Water: Nature and Political Economy in a Mediterranean Valley, 1796-1916

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ISBN: 9781874267577    Publisher: White Horse Press Year of publishing: 2010     Format:  Paperback No of Pages: 196        
Enclosing Water is an environmental history of the Industrial Revolution, as inscribed on the Liri valley in Italy's Central Apennines. Amid forces of revolution and empire, and Enlightenment discourses...Read more
Enclosing Water is an environmental history of the Industrial Revolution, as inscribed on the Liri valley in Italy's Central Apennines. Amid forces of revolution and empire, and Enlightenment discourses of 'improvement' and political economy, the Liri's natural wealth - water-power - generated sweeping changes in its landscape and working and living environments. This book tells the story of how defining water as property - both materially and discursively - led to the emergence of an industrial riverscape, and of a concomitant new ecological consciousness; to heightened environmental risks and awareness of those risks. A dramatic century in the Liri's socio-environmental history, with its cast of new industrial bourgeoisie, engineers and civil servants, illuminates how material developments and ideological currents completely reshaped the relationship between society and nature at the periphery of 19th century Europe. By integrating Political Economy into the narrative of European environmental history, this pioneering book offers a critical new view of discourses of water disorder and environmental politics in the Mediterranean region.
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About the author: Stefania Barca
Stefania Barca (born in Naples in 1968) is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. After obtaining her PhD in Economic... Read more
Stefania Barca (born in Naples in 1968) is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. After obtaining her PhD in Economic History from the University of Bari (1997) she was a research associate with the Institute of Studies on Mediterranean Societies in Naples (part of the Italian National Research Council) and taught courses in economic, social and environmental history. She has published numerous articles in Italian and English and co-authored the book Storia dell'ambiente. Una introduzione ('An Introduction to Environmental History', 2004, with M. Armiero). In 2003 she was involved in founding the first Italian environmental history journal, I Frutti di Demetra. Bollettino di Storia e Ambiente, on whose editorial board she still serves. From 2005 to 2008 she was in the US, first as visiting scholar to the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale University and then as Ciriacy Wantrup postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. She returned to Europe in 2009. Her current research projects include a comparative environmental history of petrochemicals, and a biography of Italian leading ecologist Laura Conti.
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Review:
'The close and dense connections pinpointed between culture, environment, and economy make this work an enriching, even indispensable read - Essential.' R. Spickermann, University of Texas. CHOICE...Read more
'The close and dense connections pinpointed between culture, environment, and economy make this work an enriching, even indispensable read - Essential.' R. Spickermann, University of Texas. CHOICE Academic Reviews 'The Industrial Revolution is one of the great themes for environmental history. Here Barca rises to the challenge, providing a clear case study of an industrial transformation of a riverine environment in its political, intellectual, social, and economic context.' J.R. McNeill, Georgetown University. Environmental History '[Barca's] penetrating, multi-layered unpacking of this tragic story makes significant contributions to environmental, social and intellectual history. Enclosing Water is essential reading for understanding the dialectical consequences of changing socio-ecological relationships. It offers an original, thought-provoking way of seeing how society creates landscapes out of visionary ideal of itself.' Harold Platt, Environment and History.
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