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Introduction

Introduction

A mere dream for centuries, the Northwest Passage has now become a place and a topic where scientific and traditional knowledge intersect. This is the introductory chapter of "The Northwest Passage: Myth, Environment, and Resources"—a virtual exhibition written by historian Elena Baldassarri.

The Northwest Passage as a Voyage to Myth and Adventure

The Northwest Passage as a Voyage to Myth and Adventure

Is the Arctic the last frontier? With text, audio, and video, historian Elena Baldassarri describes the historical struggle to find a passage through the perilous environments of the Far North. This is a chapter of the virtual exhibition "The Northwest Passage: Myth, Environment, and Resources."

The Northwest Passage as a Matter of National Security

The Northwest Passage as a Matter of National Security

Once an environment in which the notion of nations was unheard of, the Arctic region is now a disputed space among superpowers. This is a chapter of the virtual exhibition "The Northwest Passage: Myth, Environment, and Resources"—written and curated by historian Elena Baldassarri.

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal opens for shipping on 15 August 1914. This 77.1 kilometer canal connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean across the Isthmus of Panama. It eliminates the need for ships to make a long and hazardous detour around Cape Horn and provides a much faster and safer route between the two oceans.

Regions: 

Zeisler-Vralsted, Dorothy, Rivers, Memory, and Nation-Building: A History of the Volga and Mississippi Rivers

Beginning in the pre-modern world, the Volga and Mississippi Rivers both served as critical trade routes connecting cultures in an extensive exchange network, while also sustaining populations through their surrounding wetlands and bottomlands. In modern times, “Mother Volga” and the “Father of Waters” became integral parts of national identity, contributing to a sense of Russian and American exceptionalism. Rivers, Memory, and Nation-Building discusses their histories, through which we derive a more nuanced view of human interaction with the environment, which adds another lens to our understanding of the past.