Faking Niagara Falls Presentation by Dr. Dan Macfarlane
On Friday, October 19th at noon in the Multipurpose Room of Niagara University’s Lower Level Gallagher, we are fortunate to welcome Dr. Dan Macfarlane. His presentation, Faking Niagara Falls: Environment, Energy, and Engineers, will address the transnational history of landscape, engineering, and hydro-electricity at Niagara Falls. As he details, the modern history of the Niagara Falls waterscape can be defined by a tension between beauty and power. In 1950, the United States and Canada signed a treaty allowing the majority of the Niagara River’s water to be diverted for hydroelectric production – but accomplishing this without ruining the aesthetic appeal, and the tourist economy, entailed the physical engineering and reshaping of the Horseshoe Falls to hide its transformation. Renovations were then considered for the American Falls beginning in the later 1960s, though with different results.
Dan is an Environmental/Transnational Historian whose work addresses Canadian and American environmental, transnational/borderlands, environmental diplomacy, energy, and technology issues, focusing in particular on the history of US-Canada border waters in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin. His work crosses both interdisciplinary and political boundaries (e.g., political science, political ecology, IR, historical geography); his 2014 book on the binational creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project, titled Negotiating a River: Canada, the U.S., and the Creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway (UBC Press, 2014) won the Champlain Society’s Chalmers Prize for Ontario History.
This event is co-sponsored by the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area and the Niagara University Department of Political Science. Food will be served! All are encouraged to attend.