A specialist in environmental history and historical geography, Evenden’s research examines how human communities perceive, develop and contest rivers and waters. He completed his PhD at York University in 2000 under the supervision of Viv Nelles, for which he received the Governor General’s Gold Medal as well as the Rachel Carson Prize from the American Society of Environmental History for best dissertation of the year.
Some of his major publications include Fish versus Power: An Environmental History of the Fraser River (Cambridge UP 2004), which received a Clio Prize from the Canadian Historical Association; The River Returns: An Environmental History of the Bow, co-authored with Christopher Armstrong and H.V. Nelles (McGill-Queen’s UP 2009); and Urban Rivers: Re-making Cities, Rivers and Space in Europe and North America, co-edited with Stephane Castonguay (U Pittsburgh Press 2012). His latest book is Allied Power: Mobilizing Hydro-electricity during Canada’s Second World War (University of Toronto Press, 2015), which examines how the power needs of wartime production drove hydro development across Canada. His current research focuses on the historiography of river writing; the environmental history of potable water; and the global history of war and hydro-electricity.
Before joining the VPRI, Evenden served as the Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) in the Faculty of Arts (2015-2019) and before that chair of Canadian Studies at UBC (2011-2015). He was also a founding executive member (2005-2015) of the Network in Canadian History and Environment/ Nouvelle initiative canadienne en histoire de l’environnement (NICHE) and co-director (2007-2015) with Stéphane Castonguay of the Canadian Water History Project/Projet sur l’histoire de l’eau au Canada. In 2008, he was appointed as an early career scholar of the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies, UBC. In 2011 he received a UBC Killam teaching prize.
VPRI: Room 103 – Old Administration Building
6328 Memorial Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada
Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, 1984 West Mall, Vancouver, BC CANADA V6T 1Z2
Phone: (VPRI office) 604.827.4100 (Geography) 604.822.6407
Email: matthew evenden AT ubc ca (where AT=@, and space = .)