21 Oct 15

In this lecture, “France and Its Rivers – War, Property, and Pleasure along the Marne,” Historian Michael Miller uses French waterways to propose a different framework for exploring the intersection of French geography, history, and identity. While the prevailing approach to waterway history has long focused on human engineering, power, and environmental change, Miller instead explains how France came to be so identified with and by its rivers, streams, and canals. To grasp that identification, he uses archival sources ranging from disputes about waterway governance to the words of French authors about their rivers and the cities along their banks.