UBC Graduate Research

Queer Prairie Futures Archer, Scott


Queer Prairie Futures is an exploration in the intersection of rural landscapes and queer space theory using Alberta’s Aspen Parkland ecoregion as a testing ground. The aspen parkland was once a fluid, transitional ecoregion of forests, grasslands, and wetlands. This fluidity was carefully managed in collaboration with all beings in the space. The prairie landscape has since been altered by a heteronormative settler system that prioritizes and reproduces controlled landscapes of sameness. Through decades of resource extraction and monoculture farming, all queer expression of the land has been overwritten, and it has become one of the most static, human-altered ecosystems in North America. This project identifies three sites that demonstrate this heteronormative control, and speculates new landscapes that hypothesize queer methods of relating to the land and other beings. A fair amount of writing and research has been done on analysis and production of queer space, especially in the disciplines of building architecture and urban planning, but how does this analysis and theory apply to (re)designing landscapes in rural spaces?

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