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Teaching Environmental History Week

Environmental History Week: Get your students involved! 

EH Week 2021 offers up significant opportunities for undergraduate engagement. Unlike regular conferences, where undergraduate participation is usually limited to a few select students from the host city and region, the online format allows for students from all over the world to just login to view environmental history presentations and share their own research. ASEH would like to encourage all EH Week participants who are currently teaching undergraduate students to integrate participation in the week’s events into their courses in some way. The following is a list of assignment and engagement ideas:  

    • Have students attend an EH Week panel whose topic coincides with their course. Better yet, have them attend multiple panels, and write up reflections and/or responses that compare and contrast the research they saw. 
    • Pick a series of panels for them to attend around a theme, and have them write a “state of the field” essay or response. What topics are or aren’t being covered in environmental history? How would they approach the field differently?
    • Pick a panel of US based scholars and a panel of scholars from another part of the world. Compare and contrast the approaches, themes and questions. EH Week offers up an unprecedented opportunity to think about scholarship on an international level.
    • If you teach an interdisciplinary class/program, have them write an analysis of how a historian approaches a topic/issue vs. another field. A perusal of the program should show scholars whose primary fields are geography, cultural studies, science and technology studies, etc. EH Week is a great opportunity to think intentionally about interdisciplinarity. 
    • Encourage them to ask a question at whatever event they attend. 
    • Have students form their own panel. This would work best for senior seminar/capstone projects. If you have a number of students, consider having them submit a “lightning talk.”
    • Submit an existing undergraduate event at your institution. Already have a research presentation/colloquium/seminar scheduled for your students? Just submit that for the EH Week schedule. Even if the event does not fall completely within EH Week, please submit. 
    • Use EH Week as a “how to” for online/scholarly presentations. Have students critique online presentation formats. What worked and what didn’t? This is an excellent laboratory to show students how we do the “work” of scholarly engagement and dissemination. 


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American Society for Environmental History

UIC Department of History - MC 198

601 S. Morgan St.

Chicago, IL  60607-7109