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ASEH 2025 Annual Conference Call for Proposals

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Omni William Penn Hotel

April 9-13, 2025

"Forging Environments: Confluence, Resilience, Intersectionality"

The American Society for Environmental History invites proposals for its annual conference, to be held April 9-13, 2025, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a location that holds a unique place in both American history and the narrative of global environmental change.

The theme, “Forging Environments: Confluence, Resilience, Intersectionality,” speaks directly to Pittsburgh’s past. Located where the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers form the Ohio, the city sits on lands historically stewarded by the Onödowá'ga:' (Seneca), saawanwa (Shawnee) and Lenape (Delaware) peoples. These nations intersected in an environment rich with natural resources at the gateway to the continent’s heartland. Later, the extraction of the area’s coal, timber, natural gas, and limestone by colonizers forged new landscapes. But the Steel City’s industrial might came at a significant environmental and human cost, necessitating remediation and mitigation strategies in the face of deindustrialization. Now a hub for technology and finance, the Greater Pittsburgh region stands as a monument to environmental resilience and renewal.

The theme also reminds us that all over the world, similar convergences, transformations, and resiliencies have produced altered ecologies and forged new environments. The processes that have contributed to these creations—colonialism, dispossession, war, industry, labor, capitalism, restoration, climate change, and more—speak to the intersectionality of environmental history and the field’s ability to foster a deeper awareness of connections across time, space, and ecologies. In a rapidly warming world, the stories of how global societies have navigated the challenges of environmental change in the past are urgently needed to help us see a path forward.

While programming in Pittsburgh will emphasize the theme, “Forged Environments,” the Program Committee invites research on all facets of environmental history, from any geographical or temporal context. We also welcome proposals from independent scholars, public historians, K-12 teachers, and other practitioners of history from a range of institutions (government agencies, museums, historical consultants), and encourage ASEH members to engage with and actively include diverse practitioners, including exiled and incarcerated people, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, people working under occupation, and grassroots activists.

Submission Guidelines:
The Program Committee welcomes traditional panels or roundtables; individual papers; posters; author-meets-critic(s) sessions; lightning sessions; teaching and pedagogy sessions; innovative formats; panels that feature GIS, StoryMaps, and/or other emerging technologies; and sessions that encourage active audience participation.

Conference sessions are set at 75 minutes including the requisite time for discussion. Please note that this is a new, experimental format, and that because the time allocated for sessions is shorter than it has been in the past, we envision panels of 4 papers of 12-13 minutes each. Commentators will be permitted for roundtables or other nontraditional formats, but not for traditional or lightning panels.  Chairs are still required for all panels.

All panels should take seriously issues of diversity and inclusivity and carefully consider representation across institutions, genders, career stages, race, and geography. The Program Committee encourages those developing panels on topics focused on historically marginalized groups to build relationships with scholars of diverse backgrounds and make a space for these scholars in these panels. We look forward to receiving panels, papers, and alternative sessions that show commitment to the principles of disability rights, inclusivity, and universal accessibility.

We encourage complete session proposals. ASEH has created an Open Sessions page to help prospective panel members find each other. We also invite you to attend an ASEH Connects event, “Pittsburgh 2025 Open Sessions Workshop”  on June 26 at 2:00pm EDT on Zoom.  Posting to H-Environment has also been a good way to find co-panelists.  ASEH encourages panel organizers to seek out and incorporate individuals who are new to the organization. 

ASEH encourages proposals to articulate a thesis, rather than just a topic, in the titles of proposed papers.  This advances ASEH goals by making it easier for conference attendees to identify papers on topics where it is the argument, more so than the topic, that is of interest.

Submission proposal types include:

  • Complete Panels (four presenters and a session chair; no commentators)
  • Individual Papers (accepted papers will be placed in panels; presentations are limited to 12-13 minutes, be sure to check out the Open Sessions page to find potential co-panelists)
  • Roundtables (presentations should be limited to 55 minutes to maximize audience participation)
  • Alternative Sessions (this category is open, but such sessions should involve at least four participants). Sessions must still allow 20 minutes for discussion. Examples include Open-Mic Roundtables; Living History Performance sessions; Reading Groups where participants collectively engage with a selection of pre-circulated readings; panels using emerging technologies including digital histories, StoryMap, Timelines, GIS, 3D modeling, use of LIDAR, and other digital tools; or sessions that foreground activists or practitioners for whom a standard paper presentation is not the ideal format.
  • Individual Lightning Presentations (each presenter gets 5 minutes and up to 10 slides) Author-Meets-Critic Sessions or Book Talks (lightning-style talks focused on recent book publications, these will be organized into sessions with 30 minutes for discussion)
  • Posters (those presenting posters and who attend the conference will be expected to participate in the poster session)

Please note that individuals can be a primary presenter in only one panel, roundtable, or other session proposal, but can also serve as chair or commentator in a second proposal.

ASEH members are reminded of the society’s travel grants which exist to offer some financial support for presenters including graduate students, international presenters, and those with limited access to funds to support conference participation.

ASEH remains committed to inclusivity regarding race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression and identity, sexual orientation, and physical abilities in participation and topics discussed at our conferences.

In keeping with our Diversity and Inclusion goals,we invite those who have never attended an ASEH conference to submit an abstract. The ASEH is pleased to announce it will continue the practice of offering first-time presenters a year’s free membership in the organization. 

Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2024. To submit a proposal, click here.

The ASEH is planning a separate submission process for remote presentations in 2024-25. To register your interest, please fill out this form

Thank You
to the Sponsors of ASEH 2025

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