volume 29, issue 2
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on 2019 conference
Environmental History: Rewards and Risks"
Host: The Ohio State University, home of
Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center
Proposals are due July
13, 2018. Click here
for information on submitting a proposal. We are standing by to assist
with proposals, if needed. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with
Our 2019 conference will include the
- workshop at Stone
Laboratory, Sea Grant Research Facility on Lake Erie
- talk by ASEH President
Graeme Wynn - "Framing an Ecology of Hope"
- field trips exploring local
brewery industry, the Appalachia region, urban agriculture, and
- large exhibit area
- poster presentations
- 100 sessions, including
panels, roundtables, experiemental sessions, lightning talks,and
- networking events and
opportunities for students
conference will include a workshop at Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie
Indigenous earthen architecture at the Ohio State University
Newark Earthworks Center - site of 2019 conference field trip.
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus.
conference will include a review (and sampling) of the brewery
industry in Columbus.
The conference will include a destruction and revival
walking tour of Columbus.
conference will include a day trip to the Appalachians (pictured
above and below).
The 2019 conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency
Columbus. To reserve a guest room, follow these links:
Click here to
reserve a standard room ($168/night; single or double occupancy.
Click here to
reserve a student room ($126/night; limited number of rooms).
A limited number of travel grants
will be available for students and low-income scholars presenting at
ASEH's 2019 conference. Once the program committee selects the sessions
and creates the program, we will contact presenters will more info.,
including how to apply.
April 10-13, 2019
Click here for information on
the July issue of our journal Environmental
History, which includes
articles on summer camps and racialized landscapes,
malaria and water management, animal disease, an environmental history
of style, and more.
world congress of environmental
The 3rd world congress, sponsored by the International Consortium of EH
Organizations, will take place in Florianopolis, Brazil July 22-26,
2019. Conference theme: "The Global South and the Global North in
the Era of Great Acceleration." This is a rare opportunity to
connect with scholars from all over the globe. Click here for general
information. Click here
to submit a proposal for a panel, roundtable, experimental session, or
September 10, 2018.
the syllabus project: decolonizing the environmental
Thanks to Nancy Langston, David Fouster, Anna Zeide,
Julie Cohn, Sarah Elkind, Dolly Jorgensen and others for pointing
environmental historians to The Syllabus Project -
a website devoted to "Decolonizing the Environmental History
Syllabus." Here you can find a link to the Zotero library created
specifically for this project. If you set up an account on Zotero and
then join The
Syllabus Project library you will be able to contribute
additional material to the collection. This should serve as a valuable
tool for those developing syllabi, comps reading lists, and
Additional resource: Women Also Know History,
which provides a searchable website that makes it easier to
identify and connect with women historians working in a wide range of
fields and professional settings.
student caucus election results
Sheri Sheu and Charlotte Leib have been elected
President-Elect and Communications Office, respectively. Sheri will
serve as President-Elect from now until May 2019, then President from
May 2019 to May 2020. Charlotte will serve from now until May 2019. Camden
Burd is the current President.
For more information on the graduate student caucus and
plans for ASEH's 2019 conference, contact Camden Burd at
Published quarterly by the American Society for
Environmental History. If you have an article, announcement, or an item
for the "member news" section of our next newsletter, send to
by September 5,
See you in
Columbus, Ohio in April 2019!
Photos courtesy Experience Columbus.
column: flight of fancy
write this column high above the Arctic, on my way home from a
conference in Europe. As such meetings should, this one offered a
deal of enjoyment, even as it provoked thought and stimulated
reflection. An area studies gathering, it show-cased a broad range
of multi-disciplinary offerings. Anthropologists, political
scientists, historians, ethnomusicologists, sociologists,
environmental humanists, literary scholars, and
Africana, American, Canadian, comparative, cultural, film, food,
Indigenous, integrative, international, media, literary, women's -
filled the program. With such varied fare on offer, there was much
to discover, but high above the clouds I find myself less inclined
to savour the specifics of presentations than to ponder the
imponderables raised by their collective shadow.
existential choice between beef and pasta made, I recall an old
Russian proverb (as rendered by Louis L'Amour in Sitka):
"God's in his heaven and the Czar is far away." Among fur
traders in 19th century Alaska, these words excused otherwise
inadmissible behavior. Might they, I wonder, also illuminate some
of the tendencies displayed in gatherings held on one continent to reflect
on another, in which the usual strictures of disciplinary authority
are attenuated? The question is, of course, contrived. As a
card-carrying geographer, "passing" (to use the
vocabulary of apartheid South Africa) as an historian, I am perturbed
by some of my recollections of the conference. I readily and easily
admire several of the contributions made by political scientists
and historians; of others, mostly from interdisciplinary space, I
am a deal less enamoured. Recognizing that any assessment of
quality is tied up with questions of politics, power, and identity,
I wonder whether I am an intellectual dinosaur, my capacity to
appreciate good work blinkered by age and training. I hope (and
dare to think) otherwise.
a nutshell - because that is all the space I have here - I am
beset by several disquiets. Where, I found myself asking myself, is
the evidence? What are the consequences, for those of historical
mind, when a mountain of interpretation is constructed from a
single text with nary a thought about either the intentions of its
author (who is alive in body but "dead" to such
scholarship) or the ways in which thousands of readers have
responded to it? Is the past evaporating? Most presenters had a
very contemporary focus; few who looked back ranged as far as the
nineteenth century. What are the implications, for historical
scholarship and critical reflection upon both the past and the
present, of the tendency to fetishize certain interpretations of
the past? At one level fetishization simply creates a sense of
déjà vu all over again by recitation of the incontrovertible
"truths" of a particular dogma. But what, I wonder by way
of example, lies obscured behind the new nobility accorded
Indigenous peoples in "the era of Standing Rock"?
then there is the plague of presentism. The search for a usable
past has a long and defensible pedigree. We all hope that history
can make a difference, can influence the course of...well, yes,
history, by developing perspective and wisdom, by contextualizing
issues of continuing contemporary concern, and adding to public
understanding. But there is something disconcerting in the
ever-increasing inclination to treat history as a handmaid of the
present, to use the past to affirm current values and convictions.
the thing: environmental history emerged as an interdisciplinary
field in the 1960s influenced by rising anxieties about pressing
environmental issues. 50 or so years on from those
beginnings, interdisciplinarity is much in vogue, promoted by
university administrators and encouraged by granting agencies. But,
like comparative history, it is a demanding genre, difficult to
pull off with aplomb, and distressingly easy to botch. We
warn dissertation writers against undertaking comparative histories
because of the effort (and time) required to master two (or more)
literatures, contexts, and archives. It has been said that
interdisciplinary scholars "live without the comfort of
expertise" but this, it seems to me, is both facile and dangerous.
Work in interdisciplinary space must surely rest on competence in
the particular problematiques, techniques, and theoretical
approaches of surrounding disciplines; that is why it is, so often
in the sciences, a collaborative enterprise. Our challenge, as
environmental historians, is to strive for such mastery, by
drawing, thoughtfully, carefully, and intelligently upon the work
of specialists in other fields, and forever resisting the embrace
of dogma in place of evidence, reason, and logic.
my plane bisects the sky between Fort McMurray and the delta of the
Peace River, I worry that there is turbulence ahead for
environmental historians, given to thoughtful, grounded, long-form
analyses. Navigating between the hard rocks of fetishism and
presentism on the one hand and the siren songs of interdisciplinary
promise on the other, we need three things, I think, if we are to
avoid the threatening whirlpools of our (scholarly) time: a glance
over the shoulder to determine where we have come from, a firm
affirmation of purpose to shape our course, and the resolve to
speak and write loud, long, and well of what we know.
as I return to earth in Vancouver, I remember that our upcoming
ASEH conference in Columbus aims, in part, to weigh the risks
and rewards of using the past to address current issues against
those entailed in writing history for history's sake. Let the
Graeme Wynn, ASEH President
the profession: demystifying the
Lisa M. Brady, Editor in Chief, Environmental History
For many authors, especially those who are new to the
process, the publishing system can seem arcane and frustrating. It
need not be either and I hope this brief list will help to reduce
authors' experiences of the latter by eliminating some aspects of the
1) Editors have to make difficult decisions. They
receive scores, if not hundreds of submissions each year and must
decide which to send out for review and which to accept once that
process is complete. Among their considerations are: Is the
manuscript pertinent to the journal's mission and of potential
interest to the journal's readers? Has the journal published on
this topic recently, and if so, is it desirable to do so again? To
improve your chances of having your manuscript reviewed, do your
research and submit only to those journals that are really relevant
to your work.
2) The peer review process is the gold standard for
all scholarly publishing. It involves evaluation by experts in the
field and is a check against academic misconduct. Editors look for
reviewers who are established authorities on a given manuscript's
subject matter, but they also want to know if a manuscript will
appeal to the journal's broader readership, thus non-specialists
may be tapped to evaluate a manuscript from this perspective.
3) Publishing takes time. All told, it can take
anywhere from 9 to 18 months to turn a manuscript into an article.
Environmental History has a relatively quick turn-around rate,
typically publishing manuscripts within a year from initial
submission. On average, the time a manuscript spends with the
editorial and production teams is five months: the first review
process takes about 90 days; the second often takes less time, but
typically at least a month; production takes another month or so.
Although an article may not appear in print immediately, its
publication date corresponds to the day on which it is made
available through Advanced Access, which can precede the print
publication by several months.
Most of the publishing process is out of the author's control, but
there are things you can do to keep things on track, including
following directions and responding to queries quickly and
professionally. Make sure your submission follows the journal's
style, formatting, and citation requirements, for example, and let
the editor know whether or not you plan on revising and
resubmitting your manuscript.
here for a longer, more in-depth version of this article.
was appointed Distinguished Professor of Environmental History at
Michigan Tech, recognizing her outstanding contributions to both
the university and her discipline.
Georgetown University, has been named a 2018 recipient of a A.H.
Heineken Prize for his work on integrating environmental
science and global history. John is a past president of ASEH
and is the president-elect of the American Historical
Association for the term beginning in 2019.
was honored at a symposium on May 3-4 at UC Berkeley's Department
of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. Carolyn will
retire in June, after almost 40 years of teaching and research on
the UC Berkeley campus. Click
here to view presentations.
Western Washington University, recently completed a term in
India on an Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Award grant.
He gave several lectures in Kathmandu while there, hosted by Nepal
USEF director and ASEH member Tom Robertson.
Emily Wakild and
Michelle K. Berry have published A
Primer for Teaching Environmental History Ten Design
Principles - a guide for college and high
school teachers who are teaching environmental history for the
first time, for experienced teachers who want to reinvigorate their
courses, for those who are training future teachers to prepare
their own syllabi, and for teachers who want to incorporate
environmental history into their world history courses.
Final Notice - Call for
Proposals for ASEH's Conference in Columbus, Ohio, April
There are many opportunities to participate in our
Proposals are due July
13, 2018. Click
here for more information on submitting proposals.
Call for Nominations
for ASEH's Next Election
Would you like to chart ASEH's course in the coming
years? Have you admired a fellow ASEH member's commitment to our
common principles, or their efforts to advocate on behalf of
others? Perhaps you've been impressed by how effortlessly a
colleague organized a workshop or conference panel. Or possibly
you've appreciated how a fellow ASEH member instills a rich
appreciation for environmental history among public audiences. If
the answer is yes - ASEH's
Nominating Committee would appreciate your help. During summer
2018, the committee welcomes self- nominations and nominations of
other ASEH members to elected leadership positions. The following
positions will be filled by election in 2019:
* One candidate for Vice President/President elect As
* Four Executive Committee Members (8 candidates
* Two Nominating Committee Members (4 candidates
here for more information about these positions and the
nominating process. Deadline
for suggestions: October 5, 2018.
Call for Papers - World
Congress of Environmental History
ASEH Award Submissions
ASEH presents awards for scholarship, service, and
achievement. These include prizes for best book, article,
dissertation, and public outreach project, and more. The deadline for this year's
award submissions is November 16, 2018. For a
list of awards and instructions on how to submit, click here.
The Samuel Hays Fellowship is open to practicing
historians (academic, public, or independent). Graduate students
are ineligible. A Ph.D. is not required. Deadline: November 16, 2018.
here for submission instructions.
Students enrolled in any Ph.D. program worldwide are eligible to
apply for the Hal Rothman Fellowship. Deadline: November 16, 2018.
here for submission instructions.
ASEH Seeks Your Help in
Publicizing Equity Fellowship
This fellowship recognizes a graduate student from an
underrepresented group for their achievements in environmental
history and provides $1,000 for Ph.D. research and travel. Students
must be members of ASEH at the time of their application. For more
information, please see http://aseh.net/awards-funding/equity-fellowship.
We ask all members to assist the Society by
circulating information about the equity fellowship and identifying
viable candidates for it. The deadline is November 16,
We are delighted to announce that ASEH and the Forest
History Society have together approved the appointment of Dr. Mark
D. Hersey and Dr. Stephen Brain as co-editors-elect of the journal Environmental History.
They will begin work with current editor, Dr. Lisa Brady, on July
1, 2018 and assume full charge of the journal on January 1, 2019.
Dr. Hersey will serve
courtesy Megan Bean, Mississippi State University
as lead editor thereafter, for an initial term
extending through June 30, 2024. Both Hersey and Brain are members
of the Department of History at Mississippi State University, which
has committed substantial support to assist them in their editorial
Their appointment is the culmination of rigorous
search process. The search committee, constituted by mutual
agreement between ASEH and FHS, included Nancy Jacobs as Chair,
Sara Gregg, Ellen Stroud, Chris Boyer and Adam Rome (with Steven
Anderson and Graeme Wynn representing the two societies
ex-officio). It considered an exceptionally strong set of
candidates for the position. We appreciate and recognize the
valuable contribution of these colleagues, to ASEH, FHS and the
field of environmental history, and thank, especially, Nancy Jacobs
for her fine work in bringing the deliberations of the committee to
a timely and unanimous conclusion.
We also recognize the stellar work of Dr. Lisa Brady
as editor of Environmental
History since 2013. She has set a high bar for her
successors and we will acknowledge her contribution at a later
Hersey is an associate professor of history at
Mississippi State University, where he directs the Center for the History of
Agriculture, Science, and the Environment of the South (CHASES).
He is the author of My Work is
That Of Conservation: An Environmental Biography of George
Washington Carver (2011) and of numerous articles
and book chapters. As a graduate student at the University of
Kansas, he served as an editor and interim director for two public
history projects. He has since edited special issues on
environmental history for two journals, and he is currently an
editor for the University of Alabama Press's NEXUS book series. A
collection of essays titled A
Field on Fire: The Future of Environmental History,
which he co-edited with Ted Steinberg, will be released later this
year. He is working on a study of the physiographic Black Belt of
Alabama and Mississippi, exploring the intersections of land use,
race, and identity there since the late eighteenth century.
Brain is an associate professor of history at
Mississippi State University. He received his PhD from the
University of California, Berkeley in 2007 under the direction of
Douglas Weiner and Carolyn Merchant. His first book, Song
of the Forest, was published in 2011. He has
published articles in Environmental
Review, and Cold
War History. He is working on the environmental history
of Soviet collectivization, and the Soviet effort to build
artificial environments in space.
aseh news is
a publication of the American Society for Environmental History
Graeme Wynn, University of British Columbia, President
Boston University, Vice President/President Elect
Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Treasurer
Sarah Elkind, San Diego State University, Secretary
Emily Greenwald, Historical Research Associates, Inc.-Missoula
Western Michigan University
Univeristy of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa
Rachel Carson Center-Munich
Cindy Ott, University of Delaware
Valencius, Boston College
University of Rochester, President, Graduate Student Caucus
Ex Officio, Past
University of Oklahoma
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ex Officio, Editor, Environmental History:
Lisa Brady, Boise State University
Ex Officio, Executive Director and Editor, aseh
Lisa Mighetto, University of Washington-Tacoma