Grasslands Grown


Grasslands Grown

Creating Place on the U.S. Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies

Molly P. Rozum

500 pages
30 photographs, 9 illustrations, 10 maps, index


August 2021


$35.00 Add to Cart

August 2021


$75.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2021


$35.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2021


$35.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

In Grasslands Grown Molly P. Rozum explores the two related concepts of regional identity and sense of place by examining a single North American ecological region: the U.S. Great Plains and the Canadian Prairie Provinces. All or parts of modern-day Alberta, Montana, Saskatchewan, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Manitoba form the center of this transnational region.

As children, the first postconquest generation of northern grasslands residents worked, played, and traveled with domestic and wild animals, which introduced them to ecology and shaped sense-of-place rhythms. As adults, members of this generation of settler society worked to adapt to the northern grasslands by practicing both agricultural diversification and environmental conservation.

Rozum argues that environmental awareness, including its ecological and cultural aspects, is key to forming a sense of place and a regional identity. The two concepts overlap and reinforce each other: place is more local, ecological, and emotional-sensual, and region is more ideational, national, and geographic in tone. This captivating study examines the growth of place and regional identities as they took shape within generations and over the life cycle.

Author Bio

Molly P. Rozum is associate professor and Ronald R. Nelson Chair of Great Plains and South Dakota History at the University of South Dakota. She is the coeditor of Equality at the Ballot Box: Votes for Women on the Northern Great Plains and editor of Small-Town Boy, Small-Town Girl: Growing Up in South Dakota, 1920–1950.


"Rozum overcomes the methodological compartmentalization that often hinders studies of regionalism, intermixing literary analysis, historical geography, and environmental history."—R. L. Dorman, Choice

"[Grasslands Grown] offers historians, social anthropologists, and cultural geographers further evidence of not only the myriad ways space is inscribed with meaning but also how these meanings may, consciously or otherwise, serve to supplant and negate the dispossessed."—Bree Hocking, North Dakota History

"Rozum's book is clear, engaging, and well argued. It deserves a place on the bookshelves of scholars who study settler placemaking, the North American grasslands, the northern borderlands, and the ways the interaction of culture and environment fosters senses of place and regional identity creation."—Anthony Carlson, H-Environment

"Rozum highlights a great internal conflict of many grasslands settlers: pride in the environment and a great sense of connection to it, but shame at its lack of "real" culture and disdain (even self-directed loathing) for those who stayed. It is for this reason that anyone interested in the cultural environmental history of the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies should read Grasslands Grown."—Laura Larsen, NiCHE

“A subtle, sensitive, and sophisticated transnational history of settler place-making that transforms our understanding of the Great Plains. Grasslands Grown’s exceptional exploration of environment and experience will interest readers everywhere. This brilliant book is a must-read.”—Michael J. Lansing, author of Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics

Grasslands Grown will become a standard in Great Plains studies. The work is profoundly important.”—Thomas D. Isern, professor of history and University Distinguished Professor at North Dakota State University

“Rozum artfully presents the different personalities. . . . I can’t think of a book I have read in the last ten years that weaves in so many voices across such disparate, tangible, variegated experiences. Rozum is a lucid, often poetic writer, and her insights into humanity are many.”—Susan N. Maher, professor of English at the University of Minnesota–Duluth

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Introduction: Looking Northwest from La Vérendrye Hill
1. Parents’ Choice: Taking Root on the Northern Grasslands
2. Small Worlds: Animal Friends, Foes, and Place Rhythms
3. Sensing Prairies and Plains: Grasses, Grains, Waters, Woods, Rocks, and Snow
4. “The Purple Hills That Beckoned”: Growing Up, Travel, Education, and Region
5. “Old Woman Who Never Dies” and Old Man’s Garden: Settler and Indigenous Relations over the Generations
6. “All Is So Still—So Big, I Scarce Can Speak”: New Literature and Settler-Society Aesthetics
7. “Surely, Grass Is the Great Mother of All Plains Agriculture”: Agricultural Adaptation and Grasslands Conservation
8. “All That Vast Region of Grass Land”: The United States, Canada, and Changing Cultural Geography
Conclusion: Looking across the Line from the Prairies and Plains

Also of Interest